TIGER Woods narrowly missed a road safety net at the crash site where he suffered horrific injuries after his car careered off the road in Los Angeles.
A runaway car escape route is in place next to the site of the smash, where the 45-year-old golf ace was pulled from the wreckage of the SUV he was driving before being transferred to hospital by paramedics in Los Angeles.
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The steep curve of road is clearly marked with signs alerting drivers who lose control to the runaway vehicle escape laneCredit: AP:Associated Press
Gold star Tiger Woods had to be cut free from his vehicle after the shocking crash at an accident blackspotCredit: AP:Associated Press
Tiger Woods is ‘lucky to be alive’ after the horrific crash in LA on TuesdayCredit: Represented by ZUMA Press, Inc.
The area where Tiger Woods crashed is known as an accident black spot, where other vehicles have lost control in the past.
It even features a longstanding runaway car escape route, complete with a gravel bed to slow cars that have accelerated out of control.
Signs next to the crash site alert drivers to the “runaway vehicle escape lane ahead”, and local residents in the Rancho Palos Verdes and Rolling Hills Estates area say it is a much-needed safety feature.
“Coming from the top of the street, it is very easy to start picking up speed without accelerating,” one resident told TMZ.com.
“Right where he lost control was the last part of this hill. You really have to be paying attention.
“There is an escape lane full of gravel and it has always been there, forever.”
He added it was a precaution for anyone losing control of their car on the sharp bend with its steep gradient.
“It is there just in case you lose control of your car or you lose control of your brakes,” he said.
“That escape lane is right there so it can stop you. [Tiger Woods] just missed it.”
Despite the safety run-off to help prevent crashes at the notorious accident blackspot, it is still highly dangerous for drivers unfamiliar with the area.
Tragically, just last month the area claimed the life of a person involved in a solo vehicle crash, reported CBS.
Latest data shows that in the four years between 2016-2019, there were 20 fatal accidents in the hilly, bendy Hawthorne area of LA where Woods crashed.
A total 22 people died in those crashes, with 46 people actually involved.
The golf star had emergency surgery last night after firefighters had to cut him from wreckage at the accident hotspot in Rancho Palos Verdes shortly after 7.15am on Tuesday.
Tiger Woods’ SUV suffered extensive damage in the horror smashCredit: AFP or licensors
Investigators are searching for clues to what happened right before Tiger Woods careered off the roadCredit: Gene Blevins. 2020
Debris has been collected from the crash site where Tiger Woods was in a horrific accidentCredit: AP:Associated Press
Woods reportedly hit a raised central reservation at “speed”, smashed through a street sign, hit a tree and then flipped his Genesis GV80 SUV several times.
The vehicle came to rest in bushes at the side of the road where Woods was found trapped inside the car by Deputy Carlos Gonzalez, who was alerted by a neighbour who heard the crash.
It has been reported he was “running late” to meet NFL stars Drew Brees and Justin Herbert for a lesson and photoshoot at the time.
The star is said to have appeared “agitated and impatient” and almost smashed into a TV director’s car as he left an exclusive resort moments earlier.
Deputy Gonzales said the star was calm when he arrived at the crash scene.
He said: “He was able to speak to me. He seemed calm and lucid. I kept Mr Woods calm until LA County fire department arrived on the scene.
“He told me his name was Tiger, and at that point I immediately recognized him.
“I do think the fact that he was wearing a seat belt and that the vehicle safety features worked as designed by the manufacturer likely resulted in either reducing his injury or saving his life.”
Doctors said Woods suffered “comminuted” fractures in the upper and lower parts of the tibia and fibula – meaning the breaks had led to bone splintering.
They fitted metal rods, screws and pins to his shattered right shinbone and calf bone following the crash.
He was this morning said to be “awake, responsive and recovering in his hospital room” as footage of him emerged behind the wheel which was filmed just before the crash.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the golfing star was “lucky to be alive.”
Woods was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash and the 4×4’s airbag also activated, revealed one cop at the crash scene.
Villanueva said the front end and bumper of Woods’ vehicle were “totally destroyed.”
“The interior was more or less intact, which gave him the cushion to survive, otherwise it would have been a fatal crash,” he said.
Woods was conscious but “he was not able to get up, no, that was not an option,” Villanueva added.
Villanueva said he was travelling at “a greater speed than normal” adding the “area has a high frequency of accidents,” reports the Mail.
He later said it was “nothing short of a miracle” that Woods was still alive.