Woods Out Of Event

Investigators Might Ask For His Medical Records


December 01, 2009|By Walter Pacheco | Walter Pacheco,Tribune Newspapers

ORLANDO, Fla. - -Tiger Woods pulled out of his last planned tournament appearance of the year Monday amid mounting worldwide attention to the one-car crash outside his home that trashed a fire hydrant and wrecked Woods' Cadillac SUV last weekend.

The world's top-ranked golfer said his injuries from the accident early Friday would make it impossible to compete in the Chevron World Challenge, which benefits his charities. Woods, who has declined to discuss the accident with investigators, apologized for his absence in a statement on his Web site.

"I am certain it will be an outstanding event, and I'm very sorry that I can't be there," he said.

As Woods dropped out of public view for the week, crash investigators in Orlando pondered whether to request Woods' medical records from the hospital that treated him after the crash.

"We have not asked for those records, but it's an option that we have," said Sgt. Kim Montes of the Florida Highway Patrol.

Rumors continued to swirl about a New York City woman linked romantically to Woods in a tabloid report, and an Orlando-area doctor questioned whether the athlete should have left the hospital so quickly after being treated.

On Monday, New York City nightclub hostess Rachel Uchitel hired prominent Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred and denied a tabloid report that she was involved in an affair with Woods.

"I did not have any involvement with him," Uchitel told E! News. "Whatever was written in the [National] Enquirer was not said by me, it was said by two people that claimed they were friends of mine but they're not."

Intense media interest in the case continued Monday with at least three dozen vehicles, including TV trucks, lined across the street from the gates of the luxury community where Woods lives. People said the lights are so bright at night that they can barely see as they drive by.

Woods cut his face in the crash, the FHP said, and an Orange County sheriff's report and a source familiar with the accident scene said he was unconscious for at least six minutes.

Authorities have not spoken to the 33-year-old golfer, but the source told The Orlando Sentinel that Woods was not wearing shoes when his wife, Elin Nordegren Woods, pulled him out of the wrecked Cadillac.

Woods' attorney, Mark NeJame, said he has no plans to comment about the crash probe or his client. Under Florida law, Woods and his wife are not obligated to speak to investigators.

Troopers must decide how far to press their investigation. Health Central, where Woods was taken after the crash, might have blood samples or other records that could clear up unanswered questions.

As investigators sort out details of the accident, Orange County already has tallied the major cost of the damage Woods caused to public property.

An Orange County Utilities manager told the Sentinel his agency will probably bill the golfer about $600. That includes $85 to pick up the damaged hydrant and about $450 to replace it. Eventually, the county also will need to replace the sod around the hydrant.

Tim Armstrong, manager of customer service for Orange County Utilities, said the expenses likely would be added to Woods' monthly utility bill.

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