Carlos Gonzalez calls the stretch of Hawthorne Blvd. where Tiger Woods suffered serious injuries in a roll-over car accident Tuesday morning “one of our trouble spots.”
The speed limit on the Rolling Hills Estates-area road is listed at 45 mph, but Gonzalez, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputy who was first on the scene of Woods’ crash, said he’s clocked drivers traveling the downhill, sweeping road at speeds excess of 80 mph. He’s also seen “many collisions” there, including fatal ones.
“It’s very fortunate that Mr. Woods was able to come out of this alive,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez said that Woods was wearing a seatbelt in the driver’s side of the Genesis SUV when he arrived at the crash site, adding that the restraint “greatly increased the likelihood that it saved his life.” Woods seemed “calm and lucid” and was able to speak, according to Gonzalez, who decided to wait for firefighters to extract Woods from the wreckage.
“I did not want to risk further injuring him by trying to remove him myself,” Gonzalez said.
When Woods was out of the vehicle, Gonzalez said the golfer was “not able to stand under his own power” and was put on a backboard.
“He didn’t seem concerned of his injuries at the time, which is not uncommon in traffic collisions – many times people tend to be in shock,” Gonzalez said. “It’s a traumatic experience, so it’s not uncommon for people to be focused on unimportant things, or even if they are in pain they might not feel it until much later.”