As the investigation into the Tiger Woods single-car crash from Feb. 23 continues, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has "executed a search warrant to obtain data from the black box in the car," according to USA Today.
Woods crashed his Genesis SUV just south of Los Angeles in an area of town where, according to officers, a lot of car accidents take place because of the way the road is structured. At the time, the LASO said the crash was "purely accidental," but that got walked back a bit Tuesday.
"The sheriff spoke about the information known at that time and said it appeared to be a traffic accident," the LASO said in a statement. "However, the traffic collision investigation is (on)going and traffic investigators have not made any conclusions as to the cause of the collision."
A warrant was obtained to get the black box as "a routine part of [the sheriff department's] probe." This is done to determine if a crime was committed, the LASO told USA Today. But because officers determined at the scene of the crash that there was "no evidence of impairment" as they stated last week, Woods' blood was not taken from the hospital by the department.
Tiger had no memory of the events of the morning of Feb. 23, according to an affidavit for a search warrant obtained by USA Today, neither at the scene of the crash nor later on when he was taken to the hospital.
Woods initially was unconscious after the crash in Southern California when a resident found the golfer trapped in a loaner car and with blood on his face and chin, according to the affidavit, which was submitted by Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Johann Schoegl.
"The deputies asked him how the collision occurred" at the scene of the crash, according to the affidavit. "Driver said he did not know and did not even remember driving... Driver was treated for his injuries at the hospital and was asked there again how the collision occurred. He repeated that he did not know and did not remember driving."
Tiger has a history of driving under impairment. He was arrested in Florida in 2017 after falling asleep at the wheel with multiple drugs in his system. However, he was more or less cleared of that even being part of the investigation when officers examined him the morning of his crash. As USA Today noted, there would need to be probable cause of a felony to obtain medical data now. Getting the black box is a much lower bar at this point (only probable cause of a misdemeanor) and a much more routine part of any investigation.
The path Woods' car took is absolutely terrifying. He went over a median, up the street the wrong way, past a massive light pole and down into a small gulley on the other side where it rolled over. All without evidence of any skid marks or that he ever hit the breaks.
The black box information should disclose more of what happened, though only Woods could potentially know the full story. Presumably, the LASO will release that information in the days ahead as well as a more robust conclusion about what they believe happened. They could also charge Woods with some sort of crime depending on what the black box reveals, although it would likely not be a serious one.
Woods was recently moved to the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where he is undergoing further treatment for multiple breaks in his right leg as well as his ankle. Tiger was originally transported to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, which was closer to where his car crash happened. He was treated there for a few days before being moved to the more private Cedars-Sinai.
His recovery time will be extensive, and there are questions about how healthy he will be as a human being, not to mention whether he'll ever compete again as a professional athlete. Woods seems to be in good spirits following the tribute his colleagues paid to him last week at the WGC-Workday Championship at The Concession by wearing red and black on Sunday for the final round.