Disturbing details emerge after NFL player involved in fatal crash

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Henry Ruggs, pictured here after the fatal crash.
Henry Ruggs is facing up to 26 years in prison after the fatal crash. Image: Getty

NFL player Henry Ruggs was allegedly driving at more than 250 km/h with a blood-alcohol content twice the legal limit before his sports car slammed into the rear of a vehicle and killed a 23-year-old woman.

Ruggs was released by the Las Vegas Raiders late on Tuesday after the crash, his hospitalisation and his booking into a Las Vegas jail. 

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He had his initial court appearance on Wednesday on felony charges of driving under the influence of alcohol resulting in death and reckless driving.

He is facing up to 26 years in state prison if he is convicted.

The 22-year-old appeared with his attorneys, David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld, and was not asked to enter a plea to the charges, pending the formal filing of charges by Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson.

The name of the Las Vegas woman who died in the wrecked and burned Toyota Rav4 with her dog was not immediately made public.

Las Vegas police have identified Ruggs’ passenger as Kiara Je’nai Kilgo-Washington, 22, of Las Vegas.

Ruggs and Kilgo-Washington were hospitalised with unspecified injuries that police said did not appear life-threatening after the Chevrolet Corvette he was driving slammed into the Toyota at about 3:40 am on Tuesday.

Property records show that Ruggs owns a $1.1 million home not far from where the crash occurred.

Prosecutor Eric Bauman said air bag computer records showed the Corvette decelerated from 156 mph (251 km/h) to 127 mph (204 km/h) before it struck the Toyota.

Judge Joe M. Bonaventure said he couldn't recall a speed that high involved in a crash case since he became a judge.

Henry Ruggs, pictured here making an initial appearance in Las Vegas Justice Court.
Henry Ruggs III makes an initial appearance in Las Vegas Justice Court. (Photo by Steve Marcus-Pool/Getty Images)

The judge rejected Bauman's request for $1 million bail and set bail, at Chesnoff's request, at $150,000 with strict conditions, including home confinement, electronic monitoring, no alcohol, no driving and surrender of Ruggs' passport.

Police say Ruggs’ blood-alcohol level came in at .161, twice Nevada’s 0.08 legal limit. Police said previously in a statement that Ruggs “showed signs of impairment."

Bauman also said a loaded firearm was found on the floor of the car.

Wolfson said outside court he may file a weapon charge and expects to file a second DUI charge against Ruggs based on the serious arm injuries that he said Kilgo-Washington suffered.

The judge set Ruggs’ next court appearance for November 10.

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.

Members of the Clark County Fire Department and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, pictured here working at the scene of the fatal accident.
Members of the Clark County Fire Department and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department work at the scene of the fatal accident involving Henry Ruggs. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Henry Ruggs released by Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders didn’t wait for the courts to act, sending out a brief statement on Tuesday night announcing Ruggs’ release.

“It is the worst set of circumstances I've ever seen in a DUI case,” said Craig Mordock of Mordock Legal in New Orleans, where he has defended over 500 DUI cases.

“He has had no previous trouble with the law and I would assume by the time he gets around to sentencing he’ll be able to show a great deal of remorse.

“But in the end I don’t think that saves him.”

He was picked 12th overall in the 2020 draft after three years at Alabama, including helping the Crimson Tide win the NCAA championship as a freshman in 2017.

Ruggs was emerging as a star this season with 24 catches for a team-high 469 yards and two touchdowns. 

As a rookie in 2020, he had 26 catches for 452 yards and two touchdowns.

"We are devastated by the loss of life and our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim's family," the Raiders said on Tuesday.

The NFL offered condolences to the "family and friends of the victim of this horrific tragedy."

with Yahoo Sports and Associated Press

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