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Who is Carlos Gonzales? Here's what the sheriff's deputy discovered when responding to Tiger Woods accident

Deputy Carlos Gonzales, who was the first to respond to the crash, said Woods was 'calm and lucid'
UPDATED FEB 24, 2021
Sheriff's Deputy Carlos Gonzales addresses the media after Tiger Woods' car crash (LASD/Facebook)
Sheriff's Deputy Carlos Gonzales addresses the media after Tiger Woods' car crash (LASD/Facebook)

Minutes after golfer Tiger Woods was involved in a major road accident, Sheriff's Deputy Carlos Gonzales was at the scene. Guided by a resident, he found Woods at 7:18 am. On arrival, he said, "I asked him what his name was. He told me his name was Tiger, adding "And at that moment, I immediately recognized him."

The accident occurred at the border of Rolling Hills Estate and Rancho Palos Verdes in Los Angeles. According to Los Angeles County officials, Woods' Genesis GV80 hit the median of a road in Rancho Palos Verdes, rolled over multiple times, and landed in the brush hundreds of feet away. More details were issued in a press conference shortly after the accident.


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What did the responding officer see?

Gonzales is attached to LA County's Lomita station, located just minutes away from the crash site. According to him, Woods seems "calm and lucid" while they waited for the fire department to arrive and help with the extraction. In the meantime, he asked Woods multiple questions to check if he faced any head injuries. According to Gonzales, at the time there seemed to be no sign of impairment. 

Woods also did not seem concerned about his injuries, which Gonzales said is common for traffic accident victims who are in shock. Per department policy, the whole interaction was recorded on Gonzales' bodycam. 

So far, there are no accusations that Woods was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, but it is expected that testing will be done at the hospital. 

Wood's car reportedly suffered major damage to the exterior, while the interior was "more or less intact" said to Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva. He added, "Thankfully, the interior was more or less intact, which kind of gave him the cushion to survive what otherwise would have been a fatal crash." The Sheriffs Department initially said that the team had to use the "jaws of life" hydraulic rescue tool to extract Woods, a claim that was later walked back by Fire Chief Daryl Osby.

The stretch of highway is reportedly notorious for accidents, with many cars speeding despite a speed limit of 45 mph. Woods has been taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center by ambulance for treatment.

News reports of Tiger Woods' crash. (@kraigkann via Twitter)

'A speed trap'

Locals call the stretch of road "a speed trap" because it is downhill. Because of the high frequency of accidents, there is a runoff lane used for emergencies near the site of Woods' crash. Many residents interviewed have called the stretch dangerous, citing past crashes and examples of their own near-fatal incidents. Deputy Gonzales himself called the area "one of our trouble spots" in the press conference. 

The road is now closed to traffic as officials are busy photographing the scene and taking measurements. The County Sheriff said that the trajectory of the crash indicated that Woods was going at "a greater speed than normal." This is the most serious of all Woods; car accidents to date, and as of now it is not known when the golfer will make a full recovery. He has reportedly shattered an ankle and sustained two leg fractures.