Video shows Henry Ruggs sitting on curb as woman, pet trapped in car burned to death
Las Vegas wide receiver Henry Ruggs III was seen sitting on the curb after a two-vehicle accident on Tuesday, November 2, that claimed the lives of a young woman and her pet dog.
Ruggs and his girlfriend Rudy Washington were taken to a hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries after his Chevrolet Corvette crashed into the rear of a Toyota RAV-4, which then caught on fire. The body of the woman, who hasn't been identified, was discovered inside the Toyota, per a preliminary investigation by the Las Vegas Metro Police Department.
Disturbing video from the scene released by TMZ showed one car engulfed in a fireball while another beside it was severely damaged. Two figures — presumed to be Ruggs and his girlfriend — could be seen next to the vehicle, with one sitting on the curb and the other pacing on the street. The 22-year-old NFL star was released from the hospital and booked into the Clark County (Nevada) Detention Center to await his first court appearance Wednesday, November 3, on multiple felony charges.
According to jail records, the Alabama standout athlete has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and/or controlled or prohibited substances resulting in death or substantial bodily harm. He’s also charged with reckless driving resulting in death or substantial bodily harm. Police said Ruggs remained on the scene of the wreck and showed “signs of impairment” when emergency personnel arrived. His attorneys David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld released a statement regarding the tragedy. "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," they wrote. According to ESPN, the wreckage led to a complete closure of Rainbow Boulevard between Tropicana Avenue and Flamingo Road as authorities investigated the scene.
Ruggs played college ball at the University of Alabama before he was drafted in the first round by the Raiders in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Alabama native became the fastest player at the 2020 NFL combine, recording a 40-yard dash in 4.27 seconds. "The Raiders are aware of an accident involving Henry Ruggs III that occurred this morning in Las Vegas," the team said in a statement regarding their star player's horrific crash. "We are devastated by the loss of life and our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim's family. We are in the process of gathering information and will have no further comment at this time."
Under Nevada state law, "if a person is convicted of a DUI which causes substantial bodily harm, or death, in another person, it is a felony offense." Ruggs could be charged with a Category B felony, which is reportedly "the second most severe level of Felony in Nevada law" and is punishable by a minimum of two years in prison but a maximum term of 20.
It's worth noting that Ruggs lost his childhood best friend Rod Scott in a car accident five years ago in March 2016. Scott was en route to attend a state playoff basketball game in Birmingham, Alabama, when the tragedy befell. Ironically, the 22-year-old wide receiver raises a three-finger salute to his late pal every time he scores a touchdown. Speaking to the Advertiser, Ruggs said the gesture was his way of acknowledging everything Scott meant to him and how he continued to inspire him to do greater things even after his death.