When Tiger Woods’ Cadillac Escalade Crash Was Bigger News Than His Golf Game

You could say Tiger Woods’ luxury car collection covers all the bases. While Woods is famous for his golf swing, he’s also had a lot of media coverage related to his vehicles. Remember the infamous Tiger Woods Cadillac Escalade crash when he drove the luxury SUV into a fire hydrant in 2009? That got more magazine covers than his performance at The Masters.

That time when Tiger Woods’ Cadillac Escalade hit a fire hydrant

Tiger Woods' Cadillac Escalade history
The Florida Highway Patrol photographed Tiger Woods’ Cadillac Escalade on December 2, 2009, in Orlando, Florida | Florida Highway Patrol via Getty Images

If you know anything of Woods and his history, you have probably heard about the Cadillac Escalade. The Escalade was involved in an accident in Windermere, Florida, just days after his personal life imploded, thanks to an affair with a New York nightclub hostess. USA Today reports that the police found the Cadillac SUV damaged after driving into a fire hydrant on the road.

The SUV rolled to a stop and hit a tree, where neighbors must have heard the incident from inside. The 2009 Cadillac Escalade had a lot of damage, even though the accident was at a relatively low speed. Upon seeing the accident, his neighbors wrapped Woods in a blanket and called the police. It was around 2:30 AM at that time.

By the time the police arrived, it was already 3:00 AM. Joshua Evans was the first office on the scene, thinking he was working a DUI investigation involving the Cadillac Escalade. Evans filled out the accident report, noting some of the damages that occurred during the crash. An estimate of the damaged hedges, fire hydrant, and tree came to $3,300. The damage to the Cadillac Escalade was around $8,000.

Tiger Woods’ Cadillac Escalade had quite a bit of damage, including the broken back window

Tiger Woods' Cadillac Escalade luxury SUV
Woods crashed the Cadillac Escalade SUV into a fire hydrant next to his Florida home in the early hours of November 27 | Florida Highway Patrol via Getty Images

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The Escalade appeared to go down the driveway of Woods’ home, where he drove over a concrete curb. Then, the luxury sport utility vehicle drove over a grass median and swerved back across the road and over another curb. He then drove onto a shoulder and plowed into the hedges, fire hydrant, and eventually, his neighbor’s tree. The officer estimated the luxury SUV was going about 30 mph in a 25 mph residential area.

Florida Highway Patrol eventually released photos of the accident scene, which showed a heavily damaged Cadillac SUV. The back window on the vehicle’s passenger side had been smashed, which Elin Nordegren had apparently done to get Woods out of the car. This contradicts the accident report, noting that Woods was lying on the pavement after the accident. Was he in the back passenger seat of the Escalade? That would account for the accident.

Days later, Woods would issue a statement apologizing for his behavior and the “embarrassing” crash. The Florida Highway Patrol charged him with careless driving and slapped him with a $164 fine. Woods also received four points on his driver’s license.

The Cadillac’s CarFax continued to follow the SUV around for years

Oddly enough, the Cadillac Escalade VIN tells another interesting part of the story. GM completed production on the sport utility vehicle in 2008. At the time of the accident, GM still owned the Escalade. It was repaired and sold to another owner in Tennessee after its short life in Florida. Then, someone brought it to Missouri, Arkansas, where it was in another accident. In 2019, the Cadillac Escalade’s odometer read 158,052 miles and was still rolling.

While the implications of this crash took a toll on Tiger Woods’ personal life for years, his game and personal life eventually recovered. Back in 2021, Woods crashed a Genesis GV80 SUV that he didn’t own. It was reported that he was driving 87 mph just before the single-car accident occurred. There were no witnesses to this incident.

While Tiger Woods’ Cadillac Escalade crash was a major news story for a while, his personal life stole the spotlight after that. Recently back in the game after recovering from injuries related to the Genesis crash, the news cycle has shifted back to covering his sports career over his personal life. You just might not want to let Tiger Woods drive your car anytime soon.

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