Tiger Woods suffers multiple leg injuries and a shattered ankle in car crash

Tiger Woods has suffered major injuries but deputy officer says he is "fortunate to be alive"

Andy Roberts's picture
Wed, 24 Feb 2021
Tiger Woods has TWO BROKEN LEGS and a SHATTERED ANKLE following car crash

Tiger Woods has reportedly suffered "comminuted open fractures" to both the upper and lower portions of his tibia and fibula in his right leg, as well as damage to the ankle bones and trauma to the muscle and soft tissue of the leg, following a single vehicle roll-over traffic collision in Los Angeles on Tuesday morning.

Woods, 45, is said to have been driving his car at "high speed" as he crashed into a curb and a tree before several roll-overs at 7.12am local time. 


According to medical reports, a "comminuted fracture" is when a bone breaks into more than two pieces. 

Woods is now recovering from major surgery at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where his right leg has been stabilised by inserting a rod into the tibia. Screws and pins were also used to stabilise the bones in the foot and ankle.

Once arriving on the scene, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department confirmed Woods was pulled from the wreckage through the windshield by firefighters and paramedics.

Initially it was thought the 'jaws of life' were used, but it was later confirmed by Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby that an axe was used to get Woods out of the car. 

Woods was then transported to a local hospital to be treated for his injuries. 


Deputy Carlos Gonzalez, the first unit officer to reach Woods, revealed how he dealt with the incident and his interaction with Woods.

"Unfortunately, Mr Woods was not able to stand under his own power," said Gonzalez.

"Our partners at LA County Fire were able to extricate him from the vehicle and they put him onto a backboard. 

"When I arrived on the scene, Mr Woods was seated in the driving seat. I made contact with him and I ensured that he was able to speak to me. At that time he seemed as though he was calm and lucid. I made the determination that it would be safer to wait for LA County Fire to remove him instead of trying to remove him myself. 

"I kept Mr Woods calm until LA County Fire arrived on the scene. I spoke to him and asked him what his name was. He told me it was Tiger, and then at that moment I immediately recognised him. I asked him if he knew where he was, what time of day it was, just to make sure he was orientated. He seemed lucid and calm.

"He didn't seem concerned about his injuries at the time, which is not uncommon in traffic collisions, many times people seem to be in shock. 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."

Gonzalez made it clear that the specific stretch where Woods crashed his car was regarded as a "trouble spot" for traffic collisions and speed, and that his life was more than likely saved as a result of wearing his seat belt. 

"The fact he was wearing a seat belt greatly increased the likelihood that it saved his life," said Gonzalez.

"It was very fortunate that Mr Woods was able to come out of this alive."

Dr. Jesse Morse discusses Woods' severe injuries due to his car crash in the video below, including reports of a compound fracture to both his tibia and fibula as well as a severely fractured ankle on the opposite leg. He is also explains there is significant vascular (artery, vein) damage as well.

The Tiger Woods Foundation has since confirmed Woods underwent significant surgery on his right leg and ankle, with the Foundation confirming that he was stable and recovering in hospital in a statement via social media.

"Mr Woods suffered significant orthopaedic injuries to his right lower extremity that were treated during emergency surgery by Orthopaedic trauma specialists at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center," CMO and interim CEO of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center said.

"Comminuted open fractures affecting both the upper and lower portions of the tibia and fibula bones were stabilized by inserting a rod into the tibia.

"Additional injuries to the bones of the foot and ankle were stabilised with a combination of screws and pins. Trauma to the muscle and sofe-tissue of the leg required surgical release of the covering of the muscles to relieve pressure due to swelling."



An investigation will be ongoing over the coming weeks as to what exactly made Woods lose control of his car. 

LA County Sheriff Department first notified the public about the incident on social media on Tuesday morning: 


"On February 23, 2021, at approximately 7.12 am, LASD responded to a single vehicle roll-over traffic collision on the border of Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes," read an LA County Sheriff Department post on social media. 

"The vehicle was travelling northbound on Hawthorne Boulevard, at Blackhorse Road, when it crashed. The vehicle sustained major damage. The driver and sole occupant was identified as PGA golfer, Eldrick 'Tiger' Woods.

"Mr Woods was extricated from the wreck with the 'jaws of life' by Los Angeles County firefighters and paramedics, then transported to a local hospital by ambulance for his injuries.

"The traffic investigation is being conducted by investigators from LASD Lomita Station."


Woods had been in LA on a two-day shoot with Golf Digest and GOLFTV.

He was said to not be hitting any balls on Monday but just giving on-course lessons for celebrities. 

The former World No.1 was interviewed by CBS Sports' Jim Nantz on Sunday evening at the Genesis Invitational, a tournament he was hosting. 

Woods, who won his fifth Masters title in 2019, told Nantz his back felt "stiff" but that his plan was to try to return to competitive action at The Masters in April despite still recovering from a fifth back surgery that he underwent at the end of 2020. 

Masters doubts aside, a large number of golf fans took to social media to express their shock at how Woods looked and sounded during the interview with Nantz.