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Las Vegas Raiders Release Wide Receiver Henry Ruggs III Hours After His Arrest In Fatal Car Wreck

“We are devastated by the loss of life and our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim's family,” the Las Vegas Raiders said in a statement following the fatal collision on Tuesday.

By Dorian Geiger
Henry Ruggs Iii G

Former Las Vegas Raiders wide reciever Henry Ruggs III was arrested this week after a fatal car wreck in which he reportedly crashed into another vehicle at over 150 miles per hour and with a blood alcohol level at more than twice the legal limit.

On Tuesday, Ruggs was charged with driving under the influence resulting in death after the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police said he slammed his 2020 Chevrolet Corvette into the back of an SUV at a high speed, killing an unidentified victim.

The crash occurred around 3:39 a.m. near the intersection of South Rainbow Boulevard and South Spring Valley Parkway in southwest Las Vegas. Authorities said the 22-year-old veered into a northbound right lane prior to rear-ending the Toyota Rav4. Prosecutor Eric Bauman said he was traveling at 156 mph about 2 seconds before the crash and was speeding at 127 mph when airbags deployed, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal; the outlet reported that Bauman said that Ruggs had a blood alcohol level at more than twice the legal limit and that a loaded gun was found in the car.

Police said upon arriving at the crash site they found the SUV engulfed in flames. An individual was later found dead inside the torched vehicle.

“The Toyota came to final rest and caught on fire with the driver trapped in the driver’s seat. Clark County Fire Department responded to the scene and extinguished the fire,” the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police said in a press release sent to Oxygen.com. “Despite their efforts to save the driver, she was pronounced deceased at the scene.”

The deadly wreck marked the 119th fatal traffic collision in Las Vegas so far this year, police said. 

Ruggs, who officials said remained at the scene after the crash, displayed “signs of impairment,” according to police. He and a passenger identified as 22-year-old Kiara Je'nai Kilgo-Washington were transported to Las Vegas University Medical Center. Ruggs was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and later taken into police custody. He now also faces a separate charge of reckless driving resulting in death, online jail records show. 

Ruggs hasn’t yet entered a plea and is currently being held without bond at a Clark County detention center. He is scheduled for a status check filing on Nov. 10, online jail records show.

Ruggs' attorneys, David Z. Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld, responded to the news of the crash and his arrest in a joint statement sent to Oxygen.com on Wednesday, asking for caution.

"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. 

Hours after the crash, the Las Vegas Raiders released Ruggs.

"The Raiders are aware of an accident involving Henry Ruggs III that occurred this morning in Las Vegas," the franchise said in a statement sent to Oxygen.com. "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 NFL described the crash as “devastating" and said the league will continue to monitor the ongoing criminal investigation.

"Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the victim of this horrific tragedy,” the league said in a statement.

At the time of his arrest, Ruggs was in the middle of his second season with the Raiders. The speedy wide receiver had racked up two touchdowns so far this season, including 24 receptions, totaling 469 yards. A former University of Alabama player, he was the Raiders’ 12th overall pick in the NFL’s 2020 draft.

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