Former Raiders Wide Receiver Henry Ruggs III Involved in Fatal Crash

Henry Ruggs III, a former wide receiver for the Las Vegas Raiders, faces felony charges of driving under the influence causing death or substantial bodily injury and reckless driving following a crash early Tuesday morning.

Police responded at 3:39 a.m. Tuesday to reports of a crash involving a Chevrolet Corvette, driven by Ruggs, 22, and a Toyota Rav4. Responding officers found the Rav4 on fire at the scene. Prosecutors say Ruggs rear-ended the Toyota, killing the woman inside and her dog. The woman was later identified as Tina O. Tintor, 23. According to prosecutors, Ruggs was driving 156 mph with a blood-alcohol content twice Nevada’s legal limit when the accident occurred.

Ruggs was taken to a nearby hospital for “non-life-threatening injuries.” His blood was drawn, showing a blood alcohol level of 0.161. His girlfriend, Kiara Je’nai Kilgo-Washington was apparently also in the car and suffered a serious arm injury, according to prosecutors. Ruggs and Kilgo-Washington have a young daughter together.

Prosecutor Eric Bauman told Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Joe M. Bonaventure that airbag computer records showed the Corvette decelerated from 156 mph to 127 mph before hitting the Toyota and rupturing its fuel tank, causing a fire. Bauman said that Ruggs was uncooperative with police and medical workers. He noted that since 2013, the NFL Players Association has contracted with rideshare services to provide free transportation to members “specifically to prevent tragedies such as this.”

In Nevada, convictions for DUI causing death or DUI causing substantial bodily harm carry possible sentences of two to 20 years in prison (NV Rev Stat § 484C.430). Reckless driving causing death or substantial bodily harm carries a possible sentence of one to six years (NV Rev Stat § 484B.653). Ruggs could face up to 46 years if convicted.

Ruggs appeared in court on November 3 in a wheelchair with his neck in a foam brace. Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said outside court that he believed Ruggs also suffered a leg injury.

Hours before Ruggs was scheduled to appear in court, the Raiders released him from the team.

Ruggs was released on $150,000 bail on conditions including home confinement, electronic monitoring, no drugs or alcohol, no driving, and the surrender of his passport.

Wolfson also said outside court that he planned to file an additional felony DUI charge related to Kilgo-Washington’s injuries. Police reported finding a loaded gun on the floor of the car after the crash, for which Ruggs may face a weapons enhancement of up to 20 years (NV Rev Stat § 193.165). However, the enhancement applies to weapons used “in the commission of the crime.” The defense could argue that the possession of the firearm was not at all related to Ruggs’ driving.

Additional Reading

Ex-Raiders player was driving 156 mph before a deadly crash, prosecutors say, NPR (November 4, 2021)

Prosecutor: Ruggs drove 156 mph before fatal crash in Vegas, AP News (November 4, 2021)

Raiders WR Henry Ruggs III drove 156 mph and at twice the legal alcohol limit in fatal crash, DA says, NBC News (November 3, 2021)

NV Rev Stat § 484C.430, Justia

NV Rev Stat § 484B.653, Justia

NV Rev Stat § 193.165, Justia

Image Credit: Jonathan Wiess /