RANCHO PALO VERDES, Calif. — The stretch of California road where Tiger Woods was injured Tuesday has a reputation as a danger zone prone to accidents, area residents said.
Woods, 45, was seriously injured in a single-vehicle rollover crash when he lost control of his 2021 Genesis GV80 SUV at about 7:12 a.m. PT, according to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. The Los Angeles Times reported that Woods, 45, had two broken legs with two compound fractures and a shattered ankle. The sheriff’s office confirmed the leg injury but did not mention the shattered ankle.
Woods’ vehicle sustained major damage, and the 15-time major champion had to be extricated from the wreckage by the Los Angeles County Fire Department, sheriff’s officials said.
“Deputies did not see any evidence of impairment,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said at a Tuesday news conference.
Villanueva said Woods was traveling at a “relatively greater speed than normal” descending down a hill, noting that the area “has a high frequency of accidents.”
The sheriff said there were no skid marks and no signs of braking and that the golfer’s vehicle hit the center divider, a curb and a tree before coming to a stop.
Woods was driving on a curvy, steep stretch of Hawthorne Boulevard near Blackhorse Road in Rancho Palos Verdes, the Times reported.
Donnie Nelson told the newspaper that there are one or two serious crashes annually on the highway, which has a posted speed limit of 45 mph.
“Most of the time, trucks come down the hill and lose their brakes,” Nelson told the Times.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Carlos Gonzalez, who is investigating the crash, called the road “one of our trouble spots,” KTLA reported.
“Our locals in Rancho Palos Verdes and Rolling Hills Estates know that it’s a hotspot for traffic collisions as well as speed,” Gonzalez said during a news conference Tuesday evening.
Gonzalez said he will sometimes catch motorists exceeding 80 mph on the road, KTLA reported.
“People see a nice stretch of road, and maybe they’re not watching the speedometer, or maybe they’re in a hurry,” Gonzalez said.
Laureen Swing, who has lived in Rancho Palos Verdes for 15 years, told the Times that “there’s accidents all the time” on the road.
“They don’t use turn signals sometimes when they switch lanes,” Swing told the newspaper. “I’ve almost found myself getting into an accident, trying to avoid another car cutting me off on that road. It’s pretty dangerous.”
One resident, who has lived in the area and requested anonymity, told the Times that “You don’t know how fast you can descend.”
“I’ve been ticketed not even accelerating, just using the momentum of the hill, and I was speeding,” the resident told the newspaper. “If you’re not familiar with this area, it’s just really easy to go fast. I usually (avoid the Hawthorne Boulevard and Blackhorse Road intersection) because people will run the light, and I could get nailed making my left turn up here.”
One man, who also requested anonymity, told KTLA that the stretch of road needs to be navigated carefully.
“The one thing that all of us in this area recognize is we go through brakes a lot,” the man told the television station. “Because of this grade and the speed you pick up, you typically have to ride your brakes as you’re coming down.”
Because of the curves in the road, motorists not braking can hit excessive speeds, “and if you’re not paying attention it’s easy to miss that turn, and/or overcorrect and find yourself in a bad situation,” the resident told KTLA.