SUV ‘black box’ examined from Tiger Woods wreck

Pro golf

LOS ANGELES — Detectives are looking at data from the “black box” of Tiger Woods’ SUV to get a clearer picture of what occurred during the Southern California rollover crash that seriously injured the golf star, authorities said Wednesday.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said traffic investigators executed a search warrant Monday to retrieve data from the device from the Genesis SUV that Woods was driving.

There was no immediate information regarding what was found in the black box, Deputy Trina Schrader said in a statement.

The 2021 GV80, made by the Hyundai luxury brand, is likely to have a newer version of event data recorders nicknamed “black boxes” after more sophisticated recorders in airplanes. The devices store a treasure trove of data for authorities to review.

Woods suffered a serious leg injury when the SUV he was driving went off a Los Angeles County road and rolled over on a downhill stretch known for crashes. Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Woods was not drunk and was driving alone in good weather when the SUV hit a raised median, went across oncoming lanes and rolled several times. The crash injured his right leg, requiring surgery.

Deputies will review data from the black box to “see if they can find out what was the performance of the vehicle, what was happening at the time of impact,” said Villanueva, who previously faced criticism for almost immediately calling the crash “purely an accident.”

During a live social media event on Wednesday. the sheriff said the new data could provide more information on the cause of the accident.

“And that’s all it is, and we’ll leave it at that,” he said.

California law allows law enforcement to seek search warrants for data recorders that were involved in motor vehicle crashes that result in death or serious bodily injury. Law enforcement must show that the recorders could have evidence of a felony or misdemeanor in the crash, and detectives must limit their review of the data to information directly related to the offense.

A black box is a computer that stores data from a vehicle’s sensors, which can be downloaded. The boxes usually are below the center of the dashboard or beneath seats to be protected from damage.

There aren’t any federal regulations requiring the boxes, but the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says nearly all vehicles have them now. The government does require the recorders to store 15 data points including speed before impact and whether brake and gas pedals were pressed.

Return to Bay Hill

ORLANDO, Fla. — Tyrrell Hatton had vivid memories when he returned to Bay Hill, most of them the feeling of pure iron shots on the closing holes or his heart rate as he tried to navigate 20 feet in two putts on a baked green for his first PGA Tour victory.

Not to be overlooked were the ears.

Hatton received an enormous ovation after he rolled in a short par putt to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational. It wasn’t the loudest ever at Bay Hill, not with Tiger Woods winning eight times or Palmer hitting driver off the deck onto the 18th green in his final appearance.

But it was the last big cheer in golf.

“It’s kind of hard to remember the cheers, really,” Hatton said Wednesday. “We’ve played a lot of golf since then with obviously no fans.”

That’s starting to change.

The Houston Open last fall allowed daily ticket sales for 2,000. The Phoenix Open had only a fraction of its typical attendance, but at 5,000 a day, it was still something.

That’s about what Bay Hill is anticipating this week, with tournament officials saying attendance will be limited to 25% capacity. A limited number of fans will be allowed in subsequent weeks at least through the Masters.

Even during the pro-am Wednesday, where Bryson DeChambeau tried (unsuccessfully) to drive over all the water on the right-to-left, 555-yard sixth hole, spectators milled about the course and the practice area.

Back to normal? Not entirely. But getting there.

“It will be nice having a limited number of fans out there again, just to kind of give a bit more of an atmosphere,” Hatton said. “And hopefully, I can do something worth cheering about.”

The Arnold Palmer Invitational was a big step for Hatton, the Englishman who since has starred on the golf course and in the latest European Tour social media video on anger management.

Bay Hill was the last PGA Tour event before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down golf for three months.


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