LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles County sheriff says detectives have decided what triggered Tiger Woods to wreck his SUV past month in Southern California but wouldn’t release details Wednesday, citing Congressional privacy issues for its golfing celebrity.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva told the Associated Press through a live social networking event which”a cause was determined; the analysis has concluded,” but maintained that investigators had consent from Woods — who formerly named his yacht”Privacy” — to publish info concerning the crash.
Afterwards Wednesday evening that the sheriff’s department tried to explain its position, stating in a statement on Twitter which”the launch of mishap reports is regulated under California Vehicle Code Section 20012. After we are capable, we need to publish the information discovered during the traffic crash investigation between Tiger Woods.”
Woods suffered serious accidents at the Feb. 23 accident when he hit a raised median about 7 a.m. in Rolling Hills Estates, just outside Los Angeles. The Genesis SUV he was driving crossed by two oncoming lanes and uprooted a tree onto a downhill stretch which authorities said is famous for wrecks. Woods is currently in Florida recovering from several surgeries.
Villanueva was criticized for his remarks about the wreck, calling it”only an injury” and stating there was no signs of disability. Woods told deputies that he didn’t understand how the crash happened and did not remember driving. He had been unconscious when a witness approached the mangled SUV. However, a sheriff’s deputy said the athlete afterwards seemed to be in shock but was aware and can answer fundamental questions.
That first statement from the sheriff’s deputy was cited as a motive researchers didn’t find a search warrant for Woods’ blood samples, which might have been screened for alcohol and drugs.
Villanueva wouldn’t say Wednesday what information were observed from the black box.
“We’ve achieved to Tiger Woods and his employees,” Villanueva said. “There is some privacy problems on distributing information on the analysis, so we’re going to inquire if they stipulate that the solitude and then we are going to have the ability to perform a complete discharge on all of the information concerning the crash.”
California has quite restrictive public records legislation in regards to law enforcement agencies. By law, it may withhold copies of accident reports, but normally it releases fundamental details.
But in addition, it claims that”the Department of the California Highway Patrol or the law enforcement agency to whom the injury was reported will disclose the whole contents of their reports, the addresses and names of persons injured or involved in, or witnesses to, or an crash, the enrollment numbers and descriptions of vehicles involved, the date, location and time of an crash, all diagrams, statements of the motorists involved or occupants hurt in the mishap along with the statements of witnesses to any particular person who can have a proper interest” from the crash.
Since Woods was not the only person hurt in the crash, and Villanueva has stated that he wasn’t charged with a crime, just parties whose property had been damaged from the accident — like the proprietors of the automobile, the neighbors or city — would qualify for a copy of the complete accident report.
Woods’ representative at Excel Sports, Mark Steinberg, didn’t immediately respond to a email.
“We have the contents of this black box, we have all,” Villanueva said. But, we can not release it without the consent of those folks involved in the crash.”
“I really don’t think I have ever seen a section ask for permission such as this,” he explained. “What happens when his attorneys say’no, you can not send it out today.’ And where does this leave us?”
Giacalone said it is unlikely that deputies could have sought the consent of non-celebrity sufferers in similar crashes to discharge information. In the event the sheriff’s hesitancy originated from an expected medical incident behind the wheel, Giacalone said, police could only say it was a medical crisis without giving additional information.
“I really don’t believe that they would have requested any relative people if they could come out with it,” he explained.
Woods is in the Los Angeles region and has been back home to sponsor his PGA championship, the Genesis Invitational in Riviera Country Club, which finished two weeks before the wreck. He had been driving an SUV lent by the championship.