During the early stages of the Tiger Woods crash investigation last month, it was determined that it was "purely an accident," according to Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva. However, some experts believe more to the investigation than has been said publicly. USA Today spoke with multiple forensic experts, and they said "Woods was inattentive or asleep when his vehicle went straight into a median instead of staying with his lane as it curved right." Also, an accident reconstruction expert said Woods claiming he didn't remember driving when asked by investigators was reason enough to bring in a drug-recognition expert (DRE) to be as thorough as possible.
"Exactly, exactly," Charles Schack, a former New Hampshire state police trooper who is now president of Crash Experts, said to USA Today. "I would have thought that you would have him evaluated by a DRE to see whether or not there are some physical clues beyond the operation that would point to impairment. To an untrained person, sometimes the effects are a bit more subtle, and require a bit more in-depth examination to bring out the evidence of impairment."
A DRE is "a law enforcement officer who is trained to identify clues of impairment and determine whether the driver should have his blood examined for medications or other drugs." One of the things they do determine whether it's necessary at the end of a 12-step process for blood to be examined. Shortly after the crash, Villanueva explained why a DRE wasn't brought in the day of the accident.
"The deputy at the scene assessed the condition of Tiger Woods and there was no evidence of any impairment whatsoever," Villanueva said. "He was lucid, no odor of alcohol, no evidence of any medication, narcotics or anything like that would bring that into question. So that was not a concern at the time. So therefore, obviously no field sobriety test and no DRE."
Woods crashed his SUV in the Los Angeles area on Feb. 23. The vehicle went straight into a median then knocked down a sign while continuing to go through the media. It then went into the opposing traffic lane and off the road before it hit a tree and rolled over. Jonathan Cherney, a former police detective, told USA Today that the fact Woods couldn't remember driving at all is at all indicates impairment.
"I do know significant head injuries can cause people to not know what happened or forget what happened," Cherney said. "The fact that he doesn't remember driving at all is also indicative and consistent with the objective symptom of impaired driving."