Monday, November 30, 2009

A Private Matter

by Dick Mac

Tiger Woods was involved in an automobile collision.

The story is that his wife smashed the window of the car with a golf club to extricate him. This doesn't sound like a fender-bender to me. This sounds like the type of accident where emergency assistance might be required; and Woods has stated: "My wife, Elin, acted courageously when she saw I was hurt and in trouble."

It's impressive that a collision requiring extrication of an injured driver could be remediated by Mrs. Woods. Generally, when an automobile collides with a tree, emergency service personnel are needed because there may be head, neck, or back injuries that your wife might not know how to address.

"This is a private matter and I want to keep it that way," Woods said.

The spirit and letter of the law may prove otherwise. Florida law states:
The driver of a vehicle involved in a crash resulting in injury to or death of any persons or damage to any vehicle or other property in an apparent amount of at least $500 shall immediately by the quickest means of communication give notice of the crash to the local law enforcement department; however, if the crash involves damage less than $500, no injuries, the vehicles did not need a wrecker, and the crash did not involve an intoxicated or "hit and run" driver, you may download and complete the following report for insurance purposes.

- from Driver Report of a Traffic Crash, Florida Highway Patrol

Please note that it says nothing about private property or private matters.

Since Woods was driving a Cadillac and collided with a tree, chances are that the damage is in excess of $500. It can cost more than five hundred bucks to have a rear view mirror replaced on a Cadillac, never mind a fender or a bumper. In conjunction with the monetary threshold being passed, Woods himself stated that he was hurt. So, Woods has met both criteria that require him to report the accident to the authorities "immediately by the quickest means of communication."

Although Woods did not report the accident, a neighbor did, and Woods has refused to cooperate with authorities investigating the incident.

If Woods was Joe Sixpack, in Florida, crashed his car into a tree, and his wife extricated him from the vehicle with a golf club, and refused to answer questions of the authorities, do you think he would be sitting at home right now? No! He would be in jail.

Is Tiger Woods above the law? Does Florida law apply to some, but not to others?

It's no secret that I dislike Tiger Woods, and find the entire Professional Golf Association to be repugnant, and perhaps I would be kinder if this were David Bowie or Juan Pablo Angel. I think however, that if Angel or Bowie were in this situation, they would have been arrested.

But, it's not David Bowie or Juan Pablo Angel, and Tiger Woods has broken the law, and refuses to cooperate with authorities. I hope my firends in Florida receive the same treatment when they find themselves on the wrong side of the law.

What is Woods hiding?

Is it the other angle?

The entertainment angle that is more colorful, and is probably closer to the truth of the situation than not?

There are rumors that in their current marital discord, Mrs. Woods went after him with a golf club, and in his attempts to get-the-hell-out-of-Dodge, he jumped in his car and slammed into a tree as he tried to flee. In this scenario, she is not using the golf club to extricate him, but to kill him. In every state, that is assault with intent to kill.

Irrespective of the angle from which you like to view this incident, someone should be under arrest, or at least down at the station house answering some serious questions; and should be preparing to pay-to-the-piper.

What are the odds that action will be taken against the Woods family?

Woods speaks up, says crash is 'private matter'

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