Metal Rod, Screws And Pins Inserted Into Shattered Bones, Doctors Keep Mum As Police Release Report On Tiger Woods' Ghastly Accident

Tiger Woods is 'awake, responsive and recovering in his hospital room' after extensive surgery on Tuesday to his lower right leg and ankle, following a crash in California that police said he was lucky to survive. 


Woods, 45, suffered comminuted fractures - a break or splinter of the bone into more than two fragments - in both the upper and lower parts of the tibia and fibula, his doctors said on Tuesday night.

The tibia is better known as the shinbone; the fibula is the calf bone. 

Anish Mahajan, chief medical officer at the Harbor-UCLA hospital, said Woods had a rod inserted in his tibia, and his foot and ankle were 'stabilized with a combination of screws and pins'.

Woods' muscles surrounding the bones were cut to relieve swelling, Mahajan said, describing his 'significant orthopaedic injuries'. 

The doctors did not say what Woods' prognosis was. 


Their update came as the first police officer to help at the scene of the golfer's car crash said Woods is 'very fortunate to be alive'.

It was revealed he was driving at high speed at a notorious accident-prone spot in Los Angeles. Investigators will test whether he had drugs or alcohol in his system. 

Deputy Carlos Gonzalez found Woods conscious in the driver's seat of his Genesis GV80 shortly after 7am.

A neighbor who heard the crash called 911, and on arrival Gonzalez immediately realized that the golfer was too severely injured for him to move alone. Woods was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.

Gonzalez said he talked to Woods, to keep him calm until he could be cut from his vehicle, which was badly damaged from the impact - although the protective interior was intact.

'When I arrived on the scene Mr Woods was in the driver's seat,' Gonzalez said on Tuesday afternoon. 

'He was able to speak to me. He seemed calm and lucid. I kept Mr Woods calm until LA County fire department arrived on the scene.

'He told me his name was Tiger, and at that point I immediately recognized him. He seemed lucid and calm.

'He didn't seem concerned about his injuries, which is common in car accidents. They may be in shock, and pain not felt until later.'

Gonzalez said Woods did not seem obviously intoxicated, and the L.A. Sheriff's Department does not take blood tests at the scene of accidents. However, investigators will test whether he had drugs or alcohol in his system as a matter of routine. 

Gonzalez added: 'He was injured. And he was successfully removed and taken to the hospital.' 

Gonzalez reiterated that the particular stretch of road was 'a hot spot for traffic collisions and speed'.

He emphasized the severity of the accident, and said that Woods was saved by his well-built, modern vehicle.

'The interior passenger compartment was intact,' he said. 'The airbags deployed successfully.

'I think this speaks to the marvel of modern engineering.'

Woods was undergoing surgery on Tuesday for non life- threatening injuries including a compound fracture and a shattered ankle.

The accident happened en route to a Los Angeles golf course, to film for GolfTV. 

Woods, who lives in Florida, was driving alone near Rancho Palos Verdes when his Genesis GV80 crossed the central reservation and flipped over at 7.12am.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the vehicle 'rolled several hundred feet'.  

'He was alive, he was conscious,' said Villanueva, adding: 'He was not able to get up. That was not an option.'

'There was no evidence of impairment. There was no effort to draw blood or anything like that.'

Villanueva said he was traveling at 'a greater speed than normal,' but noted: 'that area has a high frequency of accidents.'

He said the weather was not a factor.

He hit signs and 'sheared' a tree, Villanueva said. 

'No skidmarks, no braking. Hit the curb, hit a tree, and there were several roll overs,' he said. 

Firefighters used a halligan tool to extricate Woods, freeing him from the car via the window.

They did not, contrary to their initial statement, use the 'jaws of life' to break open the car. 

Officials said that Woods was taken to 'the most appropriate' trauma center, rather than the closest one - saying this was a sign that he was not at immediate risk of losing his life. 

'The fact that he was stable enough to be taken to a hospital further away, which was the most appropriate one, shows he was not so severe that he needed to be taken to the nearest hospital,' said Daryl Osby, the Los Angeles County fire chief. 

He was taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where had surgery to correct 'multiple injuries' on his legs, his agent Mark Steinberg said in a statement shortly after the crash. 


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