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GOLF

Tiger Woods gets ticket for careless driving

The golfer has already paid the $164 fine. State attorney's office officials told Florida troopers there is insufficient evidence to pursue case further and no claims of domestic violence were made.

December 02, 2009|By Willoughby Mariano and Bianca Prieto
  • Sgt. Kim Montes of the Florida Highway Patrol talks about the citation for careless driving and the close of the investigation into Tiger Woods' single-car accident last Friday.
Sgt. Kim Montes of the Florida Highway Patrol talks about the citation for… (Joe Raedle / Getty Images )

Reporting from Orlando, Fla. — After five days of speculation about Tiger Woods' crash outside his mansion, the Florida Highway Patrol announced Tuesday it gave the world's No. 1 golfer a traffic ticket.

Woods already has paid the $164 fine, court records show.

Woods, 33, drove carelessly when he steered his Cadillac Escalade into a fire hydrant and then into a neighbor's tree about 2:25 a.m. Friday, troopers said. In addition to the fine, he received four points on his driving record, FHP spokeswoman Sgt. Kim Montes said.

During a brief news conference, Montes insisted that the world-famous athlete had not received special treatment.

The Orange-Osceola state attorney's office advised troopers there was insufficient evidence to issue a subpoena or require that blood evidence from Woods' hospitalization be handed to investigators, said Maj. Cindy Williams.

No one involved in the incident made any claims of domestic violence, Williams said. Such allegations might have compelled investigators to look further into the accident.

Woods' attorney, Mark NeJame, said FHP's conclusions were good news. "All I can say is that I'm pleased with the outcome," NeJame said.

Troopers plan to release their full accident report Wednesday, along with 105 images of the crash aftermath.

FHP closed its book on the Woods accident a few hours after an attorney for the golfer's neighbors discussed what his clients saw after the crash.

Jerome and Linda Adams heard the accident inside the gated, luxury community just outside Orlando. They went outdoors and saw Woods lying on his back outside his battered black SUV.

Woods' wife, Elin Nordegren, asked them for help and for them to call 911, attorney Bill Sharpe said.

Since the accident, speculation has run rampant that the crash might have followed a quarrel between Woods and Nordegren over published rumors of an affair between the golfer and a bar hostess.

When officers arrived, they found Woods on the ground being tended to by his wife. He had facial cuts, was bleeding from his mouth and was non-responsive.

Nordegren told police she used a golf club to break out windows in the SUV to free her husband from the wreck. The Adamses did not see Nordegren with the golf club, Sharpe said. "She was trying to help him," Sharpe said. "She wasn't trying to do further damage."

The family gathered blankets and pillows for Woods "to make him comfortable" before medical personnel arrived, said Sharpe. "He was laying in the road. Mrs. Woods was beside him trying to help him. He couldn't get up."

Woods was taken to a hospital, treated and released less than 12 hours later. He issued a statement on his website talking responsibility for the crash.

wmariano@orlandosentinel.com

bprieto@orlandosentinel.com

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