The stretch of California road where Tiger Woods crashed Tuesday is a steep downhill and is also known for speeding—so much so that just beyond the accident site is an emergency exit for runaway vehicles, the AP reports. "It’s easy to pick up speed," a Rancho Palos Verdes councilwoman says. "Even if you’re not speeding, unless you’re actually putting on the brakes, you’ll pick up speed. Anybody familiar with the area is already braking to get to that stoplight" that comes just after a curve in the area where Woods crashed. He was conscious and able to give his name to police who arrived, but authorities say he is lucky to be alive. A deputy tells KTLA the seatbelt he was wearing likely saved his life. A statement posted to Woods' Twitter late Tuesday details the surgery he underwent, and says he is "awake, responsive, and recovering."
Sources tell ESPN the golfer was in surgery for hours after the crash, and that he suffered crush injuries on both legs including a compound leg fracture and a shattered ankle. Authorities say there's no immediate evidence Woods was impaired before the morning crash, and there's also no sign he attempted to brake before hopping the median and rolling over multiple times. TMZ, which has reported he was speeding when he first got in his SUV, has surveillance video of him on the road minutes before the crash. Authorities, however, have not commented on how fast he might have been traveling when he crashed. Contrary to previous reports, the 45-year-old was not removed from the vehicle with the Jaws of Life; rather, the windshield was removed with a pry bar and ax and Woods was pulled though. (Read more Tiger Woods stories.)