Tiger Woods' First Responder Says the Golfer Seemed Unaware of 'How Gravely He Was Injured'

L.A. County Sheriff's Deputy Carlos Gonzalez was the first at the scene of the athlete's accident.

One of the first people at the scene of Tiger Woods' crash is speaking out. Woods was involved in a single-vehicle accident on Tuesday, which took place at the border of Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes in California. He has since been hospitalized with what law enforcement have described as "non-life-threatening injuries."

L.A. County Sheriff's Deputy Carlos Gonzalez spoke with Craig Melvin on Wednesday's Today show about the 45-year-old pro golfer's response when Gonzalez found him inside his vehicle at the scene of the crash. 

After noting that Woods initially wasn't speaking, Gonzalez said that he was able to say his name when asked. 

"He seemed calm. He didn't seem like he was in distress, and he was able to talk to me a little bit," Gonzalez said. "I kept him talking. I asked him basic things to gauge his mental state like, 'Do you know where you are right now? Do you know what day it is?' Just to see if he was aware of what had occurred." 

As for the injuries Woods sustained, Gonzalez said the athlete didn't mention them while he was still in the car. 

"I don't think he was aware of how gravely he was injured at the time," he shared. "It could have been a mixture of adrenaline. It could have been shock. Again, it was very quick that I arrived from the moment that he rolled over, so I don't know if he had time to fully assess his injuries." 

During the live press conference hours after the accident, officials told reporters that at that time there was "no evidence of impairment" when the incident took place, and that the crash is subject to investigation.

On Tuesday evening, Woods' team issued a statement announcing that he was recovering from surgery. 

"Mr. Woods suffered significant orthopaedic injuries to his right lower extremity that were treated during emergency surgery by Orthopaedic trauma specialists at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, a level 1 trauma center," Anish Mahajan, MD, Chief Medical Officer & Interim CEO at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, said in a statement.

"Comminuted open fractures affecting both the upper and lower portions of the tibia and fibula bones were stabilized by inserting a rod into the tibia. Additional injuries to the bones of the foot and ankle were stabilized with a combination of screws and pins," Mahajan added. "Trauma to the muscle and soft-tissue of the leg required surgical release of the covering of the muscles to relieve pressure due to swelling." 

According to Woods' team, he's currently awake, responsive, and recovering in his hospital room.


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