RANCHO PALOS VERDES, Calif. - FOX 11 obtained one of the station's public records requests related to the Feb. 2021 Tiger Woods crash. In that request, FOX 11 asked for any internal emails within the city of Rancho Palos Verdes from the time the horrific crash took place and the two days after.
While deputies later revealed that Woods was speeding, the crash also brought up safety concerns on the road the golf superstar crashed the Genesis SUV at. In some of the emails obtained by FOX 11, Rancho Palos Verdes city leaders received requests from reporters and journalists to talk about driving on Hawthorne Boulevard.
In one of the emails exchange from February 23, the day of the crash, Ranchos Palos Verdes City Councilman John Cruikshank forwarded Associated Press' Brian Melley's request to City Manager Ara Mihranian with a message that reads, in part, "They want to blame the road and not the driver."
In response to the city councilman, Mihranian messaged back, "Please do not respond to any press requests."
Minutes after the above email exchange, Mihranian sent another email urging the city's mayor Eric Alegria and councilmembers to not respond to press requests asking for an official statement or information surrounding the Feb. 23 crash. The email came just as the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department was getting ready to hold a 3 p.m. press conference on the crash that day.
"You may be receiving calls from the press requesting a statement or information. I strongly suggest not responding. We, the City, do not have specific information including the exact location of the accident. This is a car accident and press questions should be directed to the LASD," Mihranian's email read, in part.
On the day after the crash, Cruikshank emailed Mihranian saying "Oh, I won't be responding," after the city received a request from TMZ. In the same email, Cruikshank asked Mihranian if Hawthorne Boulevard is a State Highway, meaning if the state is responsible for that stretch of road.
"Is Hawthorne still a State Highway? In other words, is Caltrans still responsible for Hawthorne Blvd.," Cruikshank's email read, in part.
The pattern of ignoring press requests appeared to continue as Cruikshank sent another email to the city manager with a message that read, "Another one that I will not be responding to."
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Back on February 23, Woods suffered serious injuries after the Genesis GV-80 he was driving hit a raised median, lost control of the SUV and then hit a tree. Woods is currently recovering at home after being released from the hospital in mid-March.
According to Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, Woods was driving 84 to 87 mph in a 45 mph zone at the time of the crash. The stretch of Hawthorne Boulevard near Blackhorse Road where Woods crashed is known for wrecks and drivers hitting speeds so high that there is an emergency exit for runaway vehicles just beyond where the crash happened.
The golf superstar is back home and recovering in Florida after spending weeks at hospitals in SoCal.
Tune in to FOX 11 at 10 p.m. PT as Bill Melugin will share the latest and provide a full report on-air and on streaming devices.