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02 Dec 2009 07:57
Tiger Woods has been through the mill since his early morning escapade last Friday. He has suffered concussion, pulled out of his own charity golf tournament and seen the shredding of his good boy reputation.
Now the Florida police have decided to add insult to his injuries by issuing him with a citation for careless driving.
Certainly, crashing into a fire hydrant and then a tree at 2.25am outside your Orlando mansion, an incident which left the golfer with cuts to his face, could reasonably be construed as careless.
But there were no other victims, and the fact that the airbag in his Cadillac Escalade 4x4 did not inflate suggests Woods was travelling at less than 50km/h.
In its wisdom, the Florida highway patrol has nonetheless decided to issue the citation.
Major Cindy Williams said that the investigation into the crash was now closed, and there would be no criminal charges, but insisted that the careless driving notice must stand.
In a statement, the Florida highway patrol said: “This was a single vehicle crash, with a single occupant.”
The force added that there was no evidence to support additional charges “of any kind”.
The authorities made special reference to there being no claims of domestic violence “by any individual”—a topic that had added to the post-crash rumour mill.
The latest bit of bad news for the golf star is unlikely to dampen the furore that has surrounded him over the past four days. National Enquirer alleged Woods had been having an extramarital affair, added credibility to a story published by a tabloid that is famous for its powers of invention.
A media circus duly formed, and has been gathered on Woods’s front lawn in the exclusive suburb of Isleworth ever since. On Monday the nightclub hostess at the centre of the affair allegation, Rachel Uchitel, told the New York Post that the claims were utterly spurious.
“The truth is, I live alone,” she said. “I don’t have a boyfriend, and I have my gay best friend staying over most nights. I’m a recluse. I stay at home with my dogs.”
Such a disclaimer may prove insufficient to persuade the media to disband. One thing seems certain: Woods’s discomfort over the crash is going to last a while.
There is one crumb of comfort for him. The careless driving citation carries with it a fine of $164, which should be manageable for a man whose net worth is put at just under $500-million. - guardian.co.uk
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