Who was Roderic Scott? Henry Ruggs' inspiration died in car accident aged 17
Las Vegas Raiders star Henry Ruggs III narrowly escaped a fatal car crash on Tuesday morning, November 2. The accident resulted in one dead - a woman - and Ruggs and his female passenger injured. Following the fatal crash near Rainbow Boulevard and Spring Valley Parkway, Ruggs is facing DUI and reckless driving counts. Later the night, Las Vegas Raiders announced that they had released Ruggs.
When the accident took place, Ruggs was driving a Chevrolet Corvette at a "high rate of speed" north on Rainbow. He eventually went on to hit a Toyota Rav4 SUV from behind, which caught fire. The driver, a 23-year-old Las Vegas woman trapped in her seat, died. Police said that Ruggs, 22, who remained at the scene, showed signs of impairment. He and a female passenger were injured in the accident.
This incident is a chilling echo of a car crash in 2016 in which Ruggs lost his childhood friend, Roderic Scott, who was en route to attend a state playoff basketball game in Birmingham, Alabama.
What happened to Rod Scott?
In 2016, Ruggs and Scott were supposed to travel to the game together. However, Ruggs later fell ill with the flu and planned not to attend it. That day, 17-year-old Scott had to be ejected from a car that had rolled over along a rain-covered Interstate 65. He was one of three unrestrained passengers who were ejected.
Scott, who was immediately airlifted to a hospital, suffered serious internal injuries, including a swollen brain and two collapsed lungs. Multiple surgeries could not save Scott's life. “The original plan was we were going down there [to Birmingham] and we were going to drive ourselves because I was going to be the one to ride with him, it was going to be a couple of our teammates,” Ruggs had told the Montgomery Advertiser in 2018. "But once I got sick, it was like, I didn’t think I needed to go anywhere. And that kind of hit me, but I didn’t even know how to think about it.”
"You know, everything happens for a reason, but you never know. If I was driving, maybe it would’ve been both of us, but you just think about what other kind of situations could’ve gone on or would’ve gone on if I had never gotten sick," Ruggs had said.
Lee High School retires jersey of Roderic Scott, the student killed in a car crash earlier this year. pic.twitter.com/Dik3oznaOt— Alabama News Network (@ALNewsNetwork) May 12, 2016
Every time he scores a touchdown, Ruggs raises a three-finger salute to Scott in a tribute to his elementary school friend. “[It’s about] telling him that he’s here with me all the time, he’s the one that not necessarily got me to play football, but he helped me with the mindset that you’re never good enough, you can always get better," Ruggs had said. “He was one of the top basketball players in the state and he was constantly working out, constantly working out. … That just fueled me to work harder and do everything. And when I lost him, it was just like, I can’t stop now.” Ruggs even has a tattoo of something Scott used to tell people: “I will do something great. I will be something great.”
Following the accident on November 2, Ruggs is to be charged imminently with driving under the influence resulting in death. “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," his attorneys David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld have stated.