New book charges coverups in treatment of Woods accident

A new book detailing the events of November 27, 2009 -- you know, TigerGate -- is shedding some disturbing light on the way law enforcement handled the accident and its immediate aftermath.

In his book Tiger: The Real Story, writer Steve Helling (not to be confused with CBS Sports golf writer Steve Elling) focused on the moment-by-moment incidents after Woods' early-hours accident and the behind-the-scenes maneuvering that followed:

“I would bet everything I own that he was not fit to drive,” says one of the officers who investigated the case. “But I’ll never be able to prove it, because our hands were tied. The powers that be didn’t want to tangle with Tiger; they just wanted the situation to go away.”

Right after the accident, paramedics assessed Woods and found that he had been unconscious for nearly 10 minutes. That's a scary element to all this: At that point, medical personnel weren't sure whether he was under the influence of a narcotic or whether he could have sustained brain damage.

According to the book, Elin Woods then retrieved two prescription bottles of Ambien and Vicodin. A Florida Highway Patrol trooper decided that those prescriptions, combined with Elin Woods' affirmation that Woods had been drinking earlier in the evening, were sufficient evidence of probable cause to subpoena Woods' blood from the hospital, "a routine process that occurs hundreds of times per day in Florida," Helling notes. However, it didn't go down that way:

Trooper Joshua Evans submitted a Request for Investigative Subpoena, asking for access to Tiger’s blood results from Health Central Hospital. In the narrative section of the request, Evans wrote, “The driver lost control of his vehicle, crashed and was transported to the hospital. A witness stated that the driver had consumed alcohol earlier in the day and the same witness removed the driver from the vehicle after the collision. Also, the same witness stated that the driver was prescribed medication (Ambien and Vicodin). Impairment of the driver is also suspected due to the careless driving that resulted in the traffic crash.”

Less than an hour later, Trooper Evans received his answer: Assistant State Attorney Steve Foster, head of the State Attorney’s Office Intake Division, denied the request. At the bottom of the form, he scrawled, “Insufficient information provided to lawfully issue subpoena.”

Draw your own conclusions. Woods has repeatedly declined to offer details about the evening in question, either sticking to the police report or citing it as "personal."

The accident issue has nothing to do with golf, of course, but these allegations don't speak well of the police higher-ups, and speak volumes about the ability of Woods and his inner circle to bend justice to his own ends. And when you're talking about covering up a possible DUI, well, the complaints that investigators need to leave Woods and his family alone ring hollow indeed.

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