ROLLING HILLS ESTATES, Calif. — A man found Tiger Woods unconscious in a mangled SUV after the golf star crashed the vehicle in Southern California, authorities said in court documents obtained Friday.
The man, who lives near the site in Rolling Hills Estates, heard the crash and walked to the SUV, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Johann Schloegl wrote in an affidavit.
The man told deputies that Woods would not respond to his questions. The first deputy on the scene, Carlos Gonzalez, has said Woods was able to talk to him and answer basic questions. Woods told deputies — both at the scene and later at the hospital — that he did not know how the crash occurred and didn’t remember driving, according to the affidavit.
Law enforcement has not previously disclosed that Woods had been unconscious following the crash. Officials had said earlier that the SUV had rolled over, though Schloegl's description of the crash did not include that.
The information came in a statement of probable cause requesting that a search warrant be approved for the Genesis SUV’s data recorder, known as a black box. Schloegl requested data from Feb. 22 and Feb. 23. The crash occurred around 7 a.m. on Feb. 23.
“I believe the data will explain how/why the collision occurred,” Schloegl wrote.
Sheriff’s representatives have declined to say what was discovered in the recorder and did not immediately respond to an additional request for comment Friday. The man mentioned in the court documents did not immediately return requests for comment from The Associated Press.
Woods was driving a 2021 GV80, made by the Hyundai luxury brand, as the tournament host of the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club. The SUV went off a Los Angeles County road and crashed on a downhill stretch known for wrecks.
Dr. Andre Campbell, a trauma surgeon at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, said it's not unusual for patients in major vehicle crashes to lose consciousness or suffer memory lapses — especially if they sustained head injuries.
“This is a credit to modern engineering, really, that he’s alive,” said Campbell, who is not involved in Woods' treatment and spoke generally about trauma patients.
Campbell said the loss of consciousness could last just a few seconds or a couple minutes, or even a few hours. The memory loss may never return, he said.
“A lot of times people will tell you, 'I don’t remember what happened,’” he said.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva has said Woods was driving alone in good weather, there was no evidence of impairment, and the crash was “purely an accident.”
Schloegl previously told USA Today that he did not seek a search warrant for Woods’ blood samples, which could be screened for drugs and alcohol. In 2017, Woods checked himself into a clinic for help dealing with prescription drug medication after a DUI charge in Florida.
The crash injured Woods’ right leg, requiring a lengthy surgery to stabilize shattered tibia and fibula bones in his right leg. A combination of screws and pins were used for injuries in the ankle and foot.
It was the 10th surgery of his career, and came two months after a fifth back surgery. Through it all, Woods has never gone an entire year without playing, dating back to his first PGA Tour event as a 16-year-old in high school.
Stefanie Dazio, The Associated Press