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NFL receiver Henry Ruggs III drove more than 150 mph before fatal crash, prosecutors say

Nov 3, 2021, 7:59 PM
FILE: Former NFL player drives over 150 MPH leading to a fatal crash. (AP Photo/John Locher)...
FILE: Former NFL player drives over 150 MPH leading to a fatal crash. (AP Photo/John Locher)
(AP Photo/John Locher)

 (CNN) — Former Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III was traveling more than 150 mph — his alcohol level more than twice the legal limit — before his car rear-ended another car, killing a 23-year-old woman, prosecutors said Wednesday.

The Raiders released Ruggs on Tuesday night after the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department announced that he was charged with driving under the influence (DUI) resulting in a death.

Tina O. Tintor of Las Vegas was killed when Ruggs crashed into her car, the police arrest report said. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Her dog also was killed in the crash.

Ruggs made his first court appearance Wednesday, behind a glass window in a wheelchair and wearing a face mask and neck brace.

Prosecutors said Ruggs was recklessly driving at a speed of 156 mph just 2.5 seconds prior to impact. At the point of air bag deployment, the vehicle’s recorded speed was 127 mph, according to the prosecution.

Ruggs’ blood alcohol level was 0.16 — which is twice the legal limit, according to prosecutors. A firearm also was located in Ruggs’ vehicle, prosecutors said.

Although the state asked for a $1 million bond for Ruggs, the judge set his bail at $150,000 and ordered him to wear an ankle device, abstain from alcohol and surrender his passport.

“We were pleased that the court accepted our proposed bail conditions and we look forward to his release so we (can) work together on the case,” Ruggs’ attorneys, David Z. Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld, said in a statement emailed to CNN.

CNN has reached out to Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson for comment.

On Tuesday, Chesnoff released a statement to CNN affiliate KNTV.

“On behalf of our client Henry Ruggs III we are conducting our own investigation as of this writing and ask everyone to reserve judgment until all the facts are gathered,” the statement read.

The Raiders also released a statement earlier Tuesday saying they were aware of the crash.

“We are devastated by the loss of life and our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim’s family,” the team’s statement read. “We are in the process of gathering information and will have no further comment at this time.”

Wolfson said in court that Ruggs could face a second felony DUI charge for substantial injuries sustained by his girlfriend, who was a passenger in his car.

Wolfson said prosecutors also were exploring possible charges for the gun that was found inside the car.

LVMPD responded to the crash early Tuesday — around 3:39 a.m. — near an intersection where they found a Chevrolet Corvette and a Toyota RAV4 that was on fire. Firefighters responded and found a person dead inside the Toyota, police said.

The Corvette was in the center lane driving at a high rate of speed before veering to the right lane — where the Toyota was — and rear-ending it, according to an LVMPD statement.

The Toyota came to a stop and caught fire with the driver trapped in the driver’s seat, the statement said.

Ruggs, 22, was identified as the driver of the Chevrolet and remained on scene where he was showing signs of impairment, police said. He and a passenger were taken to University Medical Center (UMC) of Southern Nevada with non-life threatening injuries.

Police said in their release the driver of the Corvette was “booked in absentia” while he was at UMC. He was being held at the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas, according to online records.

Ruggs faces one count of a DUI resulting in substantial bodily harm and one count of reckless driving, according to the Clark County Detention Center website.

The Raiders drafted Ruggs in 2020 as the 12th pick in the first round, according to the NFL. He was a wide receiver at the University of Alabama where he finished his collegiate career ranking third in touchdown receptions, according to his profile on the school’s website.

At a Raiders news conference, interim head coach Rich Bisaccia read a prepared statement.

“A person lost their life yesterday morning, and we think it’s important to keep the focus on that as we talk about this tragic event,” Bisaccia said. “We’re deeply saddened for everyone affected, especially the victim’s family.

“That being said, we love Henry Ruggs, and we want him to know that. His terrible lapse in judgment of the most horrific kind, it’s something that he will have to live with for the rest of his life. The gravity of the situation is not lost on anyone here, and we understand and respect the loss of life.”

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