Sheriff’s Investigators Execute Search Warrant For Data From ‘Black Box’ Found In SUV Driven By Tiger Woods


Wednesday, March 3rd 2021, 8:26 am
By: CBS News


The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has executed a search warrant for data from the "black box" from the SUV Tiger Woods was driving when it crashed last week, CBS News has confirmed. The story was first reported by USA Today.

Department spokesperson Deputy James Nagao didn't say more about the investigation of the rollover crash in which the golf legend suffered serious injuries to his lower leg, ankle and foot that required lengthy emergency surgery.

To get a warrant for the black box, USA Today pointed out, investigators have to determine there is probable cause that a crime was involved, even if it's just a misdemeanor.

But, the newspaper said, a sheriff's deputy "downplayed the warrant as a routine part of their probe. He said he didn't consider it a criminal investigation, but rather due diligence."

Along those lines, Sheriff's Deputy John Schloegl told USA Today, "We've got to reconstruct the traffic collision, if there was any reckless driving, if somebody was on their cell phone or something like that. We determine if there was a crime. If there was no crime, we close out the case, and it was a regular traffic collision."

USA Today also reported the department has decided it won't try to get a warrant for Woods' blood as it attempts to learn if he was "under the influence of medication" at the time.

Schloegl said there was "no probable cause" to get such a warrant.

The day after the crash, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told a news conference, "We don't contemplate any charges whatsoever in this crash."

While coming around a curve in the road, Woods' vehicle hit the median and crossed over into oncoming traffic, Villanueva said. The SUV then hit the curb and began to roll over before eventually coming to a stop in an embankment about 30 yards away from the road.

Villanueva said the 45-year-old Woods could still be hit with driving infractions based on what the traffic investigation uncovers, but said a charge of reckless driving, a misdemeanor crime, wasn't expected.

He'd said earlier that there were no initial signs that Woods was impaired.

Woods' SUV — a 2021 Genesis GV80 — was the only vehicle involved in the crash. Photos and video from the scene showed extensive damage to the vehicle's front-end. The golfer's clubs and other personal items were taken from the scene and a crane later removed the crumpled SUV.

Doctors told CBS News they expect Woods to walk again but health experts said the injuries will certainly affect his game.

-- Brian Dakss, Zoe Christen Jones, Justin Carissimo and Jordan Freiman contributed reporting to this article.

First published on March 3, 2021 / 2:48 AM

© 2021 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.