First Responder Describes Tiger Woods’ ‘Traumatic’ Car Crash

On February 23, golf legend Tiger Woods was involved in a major car crash. He is doing well after receiving leg surgery for his injuries. And now, a first responder has given us our first real details about what happened.

The first responder in question is Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Carlos Gonzalez. And his account of what happened helps show just how much danger Tiger Woods was truly in!

On the Today Show, Gonzalez said, “I saw his eyes, because it was dark in there. My first role as a first responder is to assess the passenger and the occupants of the vehicle. And I want to keep them calm, as well.”

He continued: “So I ask him, you know, ‘Hey, can you tell me your first name?’ He looked at me and said, ‘Tiger.’ It took me a half second, but I saw his face and I thought, ‘Oh, yeah, you’re Tiger Woods.'”

Some have speculated if Woods may have been under the influence when the car crashed. However, Gonzalez clarified that Woods “seemed calm” and had no trouble answering questions. In fact, one of the main issues was that Woods was so calm and collected that he seemingly didn’t know how bad his injuries really were.

What might have kept Woods from realizing the extent of his injuries? According to Gonzalez, it could have either adrenaline or shock. And because Gonzalez responded within minutes of the crash, there is a chance that Woods simply hadn’t had enough time to fully assess the situation.

And despite what Gonzalez has seen previously on the job, he still described this accident scene as “traumatic.” He pointed out that plenty of people have received worse injuries from crashes that didn’t look nearly as bad. And he credits Woods’ relatively safe condition to the fact that the athlete wore his seat belt and had a properly functioning airbag.

Still, things were pretty scary for Woods. He had to be rushed to the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center to receive surgery on his lower right leg and ankle. Woods also had fractures in his tibia and fibula bones, muscle and tissue trauma, and he required a rod for the bones and screws and pins for his leg and ankle injuries.

But all is well that ends well, and his team posted a message to Twitter clarifying that Woods is “awake, responsive, and recovering.”