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Sheriff's dept. executes search warrant on Tiger Woods' car: 'Trying to determine if a crime was committed'

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The Los Angeles County Sheriff's department executed a search warrant to investigate the black box from the car Tiger Woods crashed last week.

Sheriff’s Deputy John Schloegl confirmed to USA Today on Tuesday that the department sought data from the car to determine if criminal charges were necessary. He characterized the warrant as due diligence, according to the report.

“We’re trying to determine if a crime was committed,” Schloegl said, per USA Today. “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 cell phone 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.”

Schloegl's statement contradicts Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who declared last week that the single-car rollover was "purely an accident."

A law enforcement officer looks over a damaged vehicle following a rollover accident involving golfer Tiger Woods, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, in the Rancho Palos Verdes suburb of Los Angeles. Woods suffered leg injuries in the one-car accident and was undergoing surgery, authorities and his manager said. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
A deputy said that Tiger Woods could still face a criminal reckless driving charge. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

Villanueva last week: 'This is nothing like' reckless driving

Villanueva told reporters on Wednesday that officials would investigate the black box to determine cause, but ruled out charges of reckless driving or otherwise.

"No," Villanueva said when asked if Woods could face a reckless driving charge. "A reckless driving charge has a lot of elements into it. This is purely an accident."

Villanueva then explained that investigators would seek to determine if a driving infraction was warranted.

"Reckless driving is actually more than an infraction," Villanueva continued. "That's a misdemeanor crime that has a lot of elements attached to it. This is nothing like that."

Officials address contradicting statements

Villanueva made that statement a day after the crash and prior to the completion of the investigation, which is still ongoing. The Sheriff's department issued the following statement to USA Today to address the conflicting information provided by Villanueva and Schloegl:

“The Sheriff spoke about the information known at that time, and said it appeared to be a traffic accident,” the statement reads, per USA Today. “However, the traffic collision investigation is (on)going and traffic investigators have not made any conclusions as to the cause of the collision.”

Tiger Woods is present as Max Homa receives his trophy for winning the Genesis Invitational  at Riviera Country Club on February 21, 2021 in Pacific Palisades, California. Homa won in a playoff.(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Tiger Woods hosted the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club the weekend before his crash. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Deputy: 'No probable cause' to obtain blood sample

The Sheriff's Department continues to rule out intoxication playing a role in the crash. Villanueva said on the day of the accident that there "was no evidence of impairment" on the scene.

Schloegl told USA Today that law enforcement did not seek a warrant to examine blood that might have been collected from Woods at the hospital. He said that Woods had been cooperative and that there was "no probable" cause for a warrant.

Latest on Woods' condition

Woods underwent emergency surgery to repair multiple fractures of his right leg and a shattered right ankle. The accident took place on a winding stretch of road south of Los Angeles known as a hot spot for accidents. Woods was driving downhill when his car hit a median and rolled before coming to a stop in a gully.

Woods remained hospitalized over the weekend for followup procedures with his team declaring that he was "recovering and in good spirits."

There have been no updates on Woods' condition since he tweeted his thanks on Sunday after fellow PGA Tour golfers honored him by wearing his trademark red shirt and black pants at the World Golf Championships-Workday Championship.

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