Forensic experts out of the United States are speculating that Tiger Woods was “asleep behind the wheel” at the time of last week’s crash.
Woods, 45, badly injured his right leg in a single-vehicle crash in Los Angeles County last week when he veered across two lanes of road, hitting a curb as he ploughed into a tree with his car rolling onto one side.
Despite nearly losing his life and undergoing major surgery, it’s understood Woods is determined to once again make another comeback to the sport.
But as Woods continues to recover from his injuries, experts are starting to weigh in on just what led to his accident.
Jonathan Cherney, a former police detective and consultant who provides car accident analysis as an expert witness in court, visited the site of Woods’ crash last week.
And according to Cherney, the incident had all the signs of someone who had fallen asleep while driving.
“To me, this is like a classic case of falling asleep behind the wheel, because the road curves and his vehicle goes straight,” Cherney told USA Today.
“It’s a drift off the road, almost like he was either unconscious, suffering from a medical episode or fell asleep and didn’t wake up until he was off the road and that’s where the brake application came in.”
Accident reconstruction expert Felix Lee, said, “You wouldn’t necessarily see tire marks” after no skid marks were seen on the road, which would’ve indicated braking.
“My feeling is that speed wasn’t that much of an issue,” Lee told USA TODAY.
“It was just some kind of inattention that caused the curb strike.”
Another expert, Rami Hashish, who’s the current principal at the National Biomechanics Institute, conceded Woods likely wasn’t aware of what was happening.
“It was suggesting he wasn’t paying attention at all,” Hashish added.
The speed limit where Woods was travelling was 45 m/ph (72 km/h) but Hashish didn’t appear to believe speeding was a cause in this incident.
“You can walk away with a broken leg from 45 to 50 m/ph,” he said.
“If you’re hitting 60, 65 and you’re hitting a stationary object, your likelihood of death increases exponentially.”
Woods was recovering from a fifth round of back surgery at the time of his crash.
Authorities have said that alcohol and drugs were not suspected to have contributed to the accident, which occurred just after 7am local time. However, Woods was not tested for substance use after the crash.
“He was lucid, no odour of alcohol, no evidence of any medication, narcotics or anything like that,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva said. “That was not a concern so no field sobriety test and no drug expert needed to respond. This is what it is — an accident.”
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