Tiger Woods to be quizzed by police
POLICE were preparing to question champion golfer Tiger Woods last night after a mysterious late-night car crash. Tape recordings of the emergency call made after the accident were expected to be released to the media today.
A string of questions remained unanswered, including what caused him to drive into a fire hydrant and a tree outside his exclusive 1.5 million Florida home and why it took so long for him to respond to police.
Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) ruled out the involvement of alcohol, but said the incident in the early hours of Friday morning remained under investigation and charges were pending.
The incident occurred after an American tabloid, the National Enquirer, published allegations concerning the golfer's private life.
Sergeant Kim Montes said yesterday: "The investigation is currently ongoing and no further information will be released until the completion of the traffic crash investigation."
He added that investigators were "trying not to get on the rumour mill".
The 33-year-old star was taken to Health Central Hospital in Ocoee, Florida, after the incident, where he was "admitted, treated and released in good condition", a joint statement by his office and the hospital said. His agent, Mark Steinberg, told CNBC the golfer was "fine".
Windermere police chief Daniel Saylor said Woods' wife Elin Nordegren used a golf club to smash out the back window and helped to get the golfer out of the car following the crash.
Nordegren told officers she was in the house when she heard the accident and came outside, he said.
He said the front-door windows of the car were not broken and that "the door was probably locked".
Saylor added that officers found Woods lying in the street with his wife beside him.
The golfer was in and out of consciousness when officers arrived, he said.
Gary Bruhn, the mayor of Windermere, Florida, told CNN that Woods suffered facial cuts in the incident.
Bruhn, whose police department responded to the incident, said he did not know the specifics of the incident but added that the fact that charges were pending was a routine part of any accident investigation.
The PGA star had pulled out of his driveway, struck a fire hydrant, and then drove into a tree on a neighbour's property at about 2.25am local time on Friday.
Asked at a Friday evening news conference if the couple could have been arguing, Saylor said he had no knowledge of that.
Yesterday more than two dozen media and a cluster of television trucks camped outside the gates of the exclusive Isleworth development where Woods lives
The airbags in the car did not deploy, which suggested that the vehicle was travelling at less than 33mph.
Hundreds of fans posted messages on Woods' website urging him to get well soon and expressing their hopes for a speedy return to the golf course.
In a telephone interview, Woods' father-in-law, radio journalist Thomas Nordegren, told The Associated Press in Stockholm that he would not discuss the accident.
Forbes magazine said in September that Woods' victory in the FedEx Cup, with its $10 million prize, had made him the first billionaire athlete. He has lucrative endorsement deals with Nike, Buick, Gillette and Gatorade.
Earlier this year the magazine reported that Woods was the highest earner in sports with $110m earned during the previous 12 months, two and a half times that of his nearest competitor.
Woods is due to start the campaign for his fifth Chevron World Challenge title on Tuesday.
Woods, the tournament's host, won the event in 2001, 2004, 2006 and 2007 but missed last year's tournament while recovering from knee surgery.
All proceeds from the tournament go to the Tiger Woods Foundation which was set up to help young people to realise their dreams.
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