LAS VEGAS (AP) — Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III is facing a driving under the influence charge after a fiery vehicle crash early Tuesday in Las Vegas that left a woman dead and Ruggs and his female passenger injured, authorities said.
According to police, Ruggs was driving a Chevrolet Corvette a little before 3:40 a.m. when it crashed into the rear of a Toyota Rav4 on a busy thoroughfare in a residential area several miles west of the Las Vegas Strip.
The Toyota caught fire and the driver died, police said. She was not immediately identified.
Ruggs, 22, “showed signs of impairment,” police said in a statement that said he will be charged with felony DUI resulting in death.
Ruggs and his female passenger were hospitalized. Ruggs’ injuries were described by officials as not life-threatening. His female passenger was not immediately identified.
Charges were not immediately filed. Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said he was aware of the crash and would await results of the police investigation.
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.
Ruggs’ attorneys, David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld, said that on behalf of their client they also were investigating the crash “and ask everyone to reserve judgment until all the facts are gathered.”
The Raiders released a statement saying the team is aware of the crash involving Ruggs. “We are devastated by the loss of life and our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim’s family,” the team said. “We are in the process of gathering information and will have no further comment at this time.”
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy issued a statement saying, “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.”
Ruggs is a second-year wide receiver who was taken 12th overall in the 2020 draft after a productive three-year career at Alabama, including helping the Crimson Tide win the national championship as a freshman in 2017.
Ruggs has 24 catches for a team-high 469 yards and two touchdowns this season. As a rookie in 2020, he had 26 catches for 452 yards and two touchdowns.
Ruggs, from Montgomery, Alabama, caught 12 passes for 229 yards and six touchdowns as a freshman with Alabama in 2017. He caught a 6-yard touchdown pass from Tua Tagovailoa in the 26-23 victory against Georgia in the championship game.
The crash occurred three weeks after Jon Gruden abruptly resigned as Raiders coach over emails he sent before being hired by the team in 2018. Gruden stepped down after The New York Times reported that he frequently used misogynistic and homophobic language in those emails directed at Commissioner Roger Goodell and others.
The AFC West-leading Raiders (5-2) have won two in a row under interim coach Rich Bisaccia and now return to the field this week without their leading receiver in yardage. They’ll visit the New York Giants (2-6) on Sunday.