The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department executed a search warrant Monday to get data from the so-called black box in the SUV that Tiger Woods was driving when he was seriously injured in a crash last week.
To get a warrant, probable cause that a crime was involved has to be determined, even if it’s just a misdemeanor. A sheriff’s deputy downplayed the warrant as routine to USA Today Sports on Tuesday, saying he considered it due diligence.
“We’re trying to determine if a crime was committed,” Sheriff’s Deputy John Schloegl said. “If somebody is involved in a traffic collision, we’ve got to reconstruct the traffic collision, if there was any reckless driving, if somebody was on their cellphone or something like that. We determine if there was a crime. If there was no crime, we close out the case, and it was a regular traffic collision.”
During a live social media event Wednesday. Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva 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.
The black box data can show a vehicle’s speed, steering angle, acceleration and braking activity. There was no information regarding what was found in the Genesis SUV’s black box, Deputy Trina Schrader said in a statement Wednesday.
“As far as getting a warrant or getting the download from the car, we just do it automatically,” Schloegl told USA Today Sports. “We want answers, so that’s the route we take.”
Schloegl also said there was “no probable cause” for a warrant to obtain Woods’ blood, which would help determine whether he was under the influence of medication.
He said that Woods’ camp has been cooperative.
Villanueva said last week that the crash was “purely an accident” and that his department would not file charges against Woods pertaining to the Feb. 23 single-car crash near the border of Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes, about 30 miles south of downtown Los Angeles.
Villanueva said the department is considering it an accident, which could lead to a misdemeanor at most.
“The Sheriff spoke about the information known at that time, and said it appeared to be a traffic accident,” the sheriff’s department said in a statement to USA Today Sports on Tuesday. “However, the traffic collision investigation is (on)going and traffic investigators have not made any conclusions as to the cause of the collision.”
Woods, 45, is recovering at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was moved from Harbor-UCLA Medical Center “for continuing orthopedic care and recovery,” according to Dr. Anish Mahajan.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.