Report: Analysts Say Tiger Woods “Asleep At The Wheel?”

Three forensic car accident experts say that golfer Tiger Woods’ single-car crash last week happened because he drifted off the road. The circumstances of him drifting show he must have fallen asleep. They say the crash could not have been from excessive speed. Excessive speed has been suggested as the reason because the road goes downhill and is known for speeding accidents. 

One of the indicators of falling asleep was how Tiger Woods continued straight

close up of Tiger Woods car accident
The vehicle driven by golfer Tiger Woods lies on its side in Rancho Palos Verdes, California | Getty

All three were interviewed by USA Today. Each says their conclusions as to what happened are based on clear factors. One of the main indicators of falling asleep was how Woods continued straight even as the road curved. Woods’ SUV left its own lane, jumped the median running through the opposite lanes, left the road, hit a tree, and landed on its side. 

They say that because Woods broke multiple bones in his lower right leg it shows he was applying force to the brakes as the impact happened. It also appears Woods didn’t apply the brakes until the last part of the accident. “To me, this is like a classic case of falling asleep behind the wheel, because the road curves and his vehicle goes straight,” Jonathan Cherney told USA Today. He is a consultant for car accident analysis and an expert witness in court cases. 

Cherney is a former police detective that examined the Woods’ crash site in person before making his determination. “It’s a drift off the road, almost like he was either unconscious, suffering from a medical episode, or fell asleep and didn’t wake up until he was off the road. That’s where the brake application came in,” Cherney said.

“It was just some kind of inattention that caused the curb strike.” 

Tiger Woods accident vehicle towed away on flatbed truck
The vehicle driven by Tiger Woods is towed away | Getty

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Felix Lee is an accident reconstruction expert who is part of the Expert Institute, a network that provides expert witnesses in litigation. He says, “My feeling is that speed wasn’t that much of an issue. It was just some kind of inattention that caused the curb strike.” 

Cherney added that even after the Genesis GV 80 SUV the median there was no evidence of any steering input. He said if Woods was aware he would have tried to avoid everything that happened after the median. This shows a “very delayed response” according to Rami Hashish who is a principal at the National Biomechanics Institute. The NBI analyzes the cause of accidents for different clients. Hashish says this shows that throughout the course of the accident Woods was not paying attention.

If speed were involved Hashish says the condition of both Woods and the SUV would have been far worse. “You can walk away with a broken leg from 45 to 50 mph,” Hashish said. “If you’re hitting 60 or 65 and you’re hitting a stationary object, your likelihood of death increases exponentially. At 80 mph he wouldn’t be having an open fracture in this leg. He’d be dead.”

The Sheriff says they would need a search warrant to access bloodwork

Tiger Woods accident vehicle resting on its side
The vehicle driven by golfer Tiger Woods lies on its side in Rancho Palos Verdes, California | Getty

LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has made a series of comments about the accident without knowing what the GV 80’s black box data shows. All three accident experts have indicated it is puzzling for Villanueva has drawn conclusions about what happened without that information. He also doesn’t know what blood samples were taken at the hospital might indicate. The Sheriff says they would need a search warrant to access the bloodwork. 

In 2017 Woods was found asleep in his car in Florida. In that arrest, bloodwork showed Woods had Vicodin, Dilaudid, Xanax, Ambien, and THC in his system. “When the sheriff is saying this is just an accident, I don’t know how in the world you can state that so early in the game without completing an in-depth thorough investigation and reconstruction analysis,” says Cherney.

Woods’ Twitter account stated that Woods was recovering and “in good spirits.”