Las Vegas Raiders WR Henry Ruggs faces two felony charges in fatal crash

Las Vegas Raiders WR Henry Ruggs faces two felony charges in fatal crash

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LAS VEGAS — Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III was released from a hospital and to a Las Vegas jail ahead of an initial court appearance Wednesday on multiple felony charges after a fiery predawn vehicle crash that left a woman dead and Ruggs and his female passenger injured, police and his attorney said.

Ruggs, 22, and his passenger were hospitalized with unspecified injuries that police said did not appear life-threatening after the Chevrolet Corvette he was driving slammed at high speed into the rear of a Toyota Rav4 on a busy thoroughfare in a residential area several miles west of the Las Vegas Strip about 3:40 a.m. Tuesday.

The Toyota burst into flames and the driver and her dog died, police said. The woman was not immediately identified.

Ruggs “showed signs of impairment,” police said in a statement that did not identify the woman who died, the injuries that Ruggs or his passenger received or name Ruggs’ passenger, who remained hospitalized.

Police are prohibited by federal privacy law from disclosing medical information, said Officer Larry Hadfield, a department spokesman.

Ruggs faces felony charges of driving under the influence of alcohol resulting in death and reckless driving, court records show.

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson did not immediately respond to messages about the charges.

Probation is not an option in Nevada for a conviction on a charge of DUI causing death, which carries a possible sentence of two to 20 years in state prison. The possible sentence for reckless driving is one to six years in prison, with probation available.

Ruggs’ attorneys, David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld, said they are investigating the crash on behalf of their client “and ask everyone to reserve judgment until all the facts are gathered.”

Chesnoff declined additional comment after Ruggs was released from University Medical Center and booked into the Clark County Detention Center.

“The Raiders are aware of an accident involving Henry Ruggs III that occurred this morning in Las Vegas. 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,” the team said in a statement.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said: “Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the victim of this horrific tragedy. We will continue to gather facts and monitor the matter under our policies, but our thoughts at this time are with those impacted by this devastating incident.”

Players charged with a felony are eligible to be placed on the commissioner’s exempt list where they still get paid but are ineligible to practice or play while the case is being adjudicated.

The Raiders (5-2) were on their bye week but reported back to team headquarters on Monday before having an off day on Tuesday. They were scheduled to begin practicing Wednesday before Sunday’s game at the New York Giants (2-6).

Ruggs lost a childhood friend, Rod Scott, in a car accident in 2016, and Ruggs pays tribute to him by putting up three fingers — Scott wore No. 3 — to the sky after big plays.

Ruggs was the Raiders’ first-round draft pick in 2020 out of Alabama, No. 12 overall, and at the time, team owner Mark Davis said of the speedy wideout, “He was the only person I wanted in this draft.”

With 24 catches for 469 yards and two touchdowns, Ruggs’ 19.5 yards per catch average is second in the NFL among pass-catchers with at least 20 receptions. Ruggs was drafted for his speed — he ran a 4.27-second 40-yard dash at the combine — and ability to stretch the field, and all four of his career touchdowns have been at least 46 yards.

On Jan. 4, Raiders Pro Bowl running back Josh Jacobs was involved in a single-car accident and arrested for DUI after a crash near the McCarran Airport Connector and East Sunset Road at 4:42 a.m., hours after the Raiders’ season-finale victory at Denver. But an ensuing investigation found Jacobs’ blood alcohol level was below the legal limit and DUI charges were not filed.

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