Bill Haas statement on fatal car accident in California
PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. – Bill Haas was involved in a car accident that killed the driver of his vehicle Tuesday night, but the 2012 Genesis Open champion escaped serious injury. He will withdraw from this week’s event to head back to his South Carolina home. A statement released by the PGA TOUR and Haas’ Players Group Management said: Last night in Pacific Palisades, California, Bill Haas was involved in a serious car accident in which the driver – a member of the family with whom Haas and his family were staying for the Genesis Open – was killed. While Bill escaped serious injuries and has been released from the hospital, he is understandably shaken up and – more importantly – his deepest condolences go out to the host family during this tragic and difficult time. Bill will withdraw from the Genesis Open and plans to head home to Greenville to recover. He appreciates the support of friends, family and the golf world as a whole, and he has asked for privacy as he processes what has happened. According to Los Angeles Fire Department rescue reports, the accident happened in the 500 block of N. Chautauqua Blvd around 6:30 p.m. local time Tuesday. It was a two-car collision with a rollover, with the 35-year-old Haas a passenger in a Ferrari. He and the 50-year-old female driver of the other car, a BMW, were transported to a local hospital, with fire department officials initially reporting both in serious condition. A third vehicle -- a Toyota SUV -- driven by actor Luke Wilson was clipped by the Ferrari, according to Los Angeles police officer James Stoughton said. Wilson was not hurt. Footage from Los Angeles television station KTLA showed the car Haas was in mangled on the sidewalk. The KTLA report noted that police were looking into the cause of the crash and that surveillance footage from a local private residence may provide clues. Coroner's officials identified the driver of the Ferrari as 71-year-old Mark William Gibello. The Golf Channel reported that Gibello was a friend of Billy Harmon, who is Haas' swing coach. Gibello was hosting Haas this week in his home. Bill's father Jay Haas told the Golf Channel that his son was "very fortunate" to avoid serious harm. Jay Haas added that Bill did not suffer any broken bones but has pain and swelling in his leg. Bill Haas had been scheduled to tee off at 8:04 a.m. local time in Thursday's first round at Riviera Country Club. He was also scheduled to participate in Wednesday's pro-am; his place in the pro-am will be taken by Ryan Moore. In addition to winning the Genesis Open, Haas has five other PGA TOUR wins and won the FedExCup title in 2011. He also played for his dad, who captained the U.S. to a win at the 2015 Presidents Cup.
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