Florida troopers will cite Tiger Woods for SUV crash

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by Associated Press

wfaa.com

Posted on December 1, 2009 at 12:06 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 1 at 4:11 PM

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Tiger Woods will get a careless driving citation for a car crash outside his Orlando-area mansion last week, but will not face criminal charges, the Florida Highway Patrol said Tuesday.

Woods faces a $164 fine and four points against his driver's license. The citation will close the investigation.

"Despite the celebrity status of Mr. Woods, the Florida Highway Patrol has completed its investigation in the same professional manner it strives to complete each traffic investigation," Sgt. Kim Montes said.

According to a patrol accident report, Woods crashed his SUV into a fire hydrant and a tree at 2:25 a.m. Friday. The airbags did not deploy and Woods' wife told Windermere police she used a golf club to smash the back windows to help him out.

Woods withdrew Monday from his own golf tournament, citing injuries from the crash.

The crash came two days after The National Enquirer published a story alleging that Woods had been seeing a New York nightclub hostess, and that they recently were together in Melbourne, where Woods competed in the Australian Masters. The woman, Rachel Uchitel, denied having an affair with Woods when contacted by The Associated Press.

An attorney for the neighbors who dialed 911 after the crash said Woods did not appear to be driving under the influence and showed no signs of having been in a fight. The Florida Highway Patrol said there were no claims of domestic violence and no reason to issue a subpoena for medical evidence.

Woods' injuries were "consistent with a car wreck and inconsistent with him being beat up," said Bill Sharpe, the attorney for the neighbors. "The scratches on his face were consistent with someone who maybe was in a minor car accident and hit his head on the windshield. ... None of his injuries looked like he was beat up by his wife."

In its initial accident report, the Florida Highway Patrol said alcohol was not involved.

Sharpe said neighbor Linda Adams and her two adult sons went outside their home in the exclusive gated community of Isleworth after hearing the crash and Woods' wife, Elin Nordegren, asked them to call the 911 emergency number.

He said the neighbors found Nordegren kneeling beside her husband, upset about his injuries. Sharpe said Woods appeared woozy and had scratches on his face and that his wife was trying to console him. The Adamses wrapped Woods in a blanket and made sure he didn't move.

Tabloid speculation has focused on whether Woods and his wife were fighting before the accident.

"One thing we want to make clear is that Mrs. Woods' attitude was consistent with her being concerned about her injured husband," Sharpe said. "Mrs. Woods was trying to help him. Mrs. Woods was worried about her husband. She was concerned."

Sharpe said the Adams family did not see the crash and did not see Woods' wife with a golf club. He said he was hired to get the message out that the Adams family members have told investigators everything they know about the crash and aren't hiding anything.

By skipping his tournament, Woods will escape the TV cameras and a horde of media seeking more details. The tournament was to be the last of the year for Woods anyway, and he did not say when or where he would make his return next year.

When healthy, he has made his season debut at Torrey Pines every year since 2006. The San Diego Invitational this year is scheduled the week of Jan. 25. That could mean Woods avoids the media for 10 weeks.

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