Las Vegas Raiders release WR Henry Ruggs III facing two fatalities

HENDERSON, Nev. The Las Vegas Raiders released broadband receiver Henry Ruggs III on Tuesday night after his involvement in a vehicle accident earlier in the morning that left a woman dead.

Ruggs are charged with driving under the influence of alcohol resulting in death and reckless driving, court records show. He was released from a hospital and jailed earlier Tuesday ahead of a first appearance scheduled for Wednesday.

The Chevrolet Corvette, which the Ruggs, 22, was driving, crashed 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 around 3:39 a.m. local time Tuesday.

Ruggs and his passenger, Kiara Je’nai Kilgo-Washington, with whom he has a young daughter, were hospitalized with “serious” injuries that, according to police, did not appear life-threatening. The Toyota caught fire and the driver and her dog died, police said.

Ruggs “showed signs of disability,” police said in a statement that did not identify the woman who died.

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

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson did not immediately respond to reports of the charges.

Probation is not an option in Nevada for a conviction on a charge of DUI causing death, resulting in a possible sentence of two to 20 years in prison in the state. The possible penalty for reckless driving is one to six years in prison, with conditional imprisonment.

Ruggs’ attorneys, David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld, said they were investigating the accident on behalf of their client “and asking everyone to reserve judgment until all the facts have been gathered.”

Chesnoff declined further comment after Ruggs was released from University Medical Center and booked into the Clark County Detention Center. Chesnoff and Schonfeld also represented Raiders running back Josh Jacobs following his January 4 car accident. Jacobs was arrested for DUI, but charges were never filed after an investigation revealed his blood alcohol was below the legal limit.

The driver’s death is the 119th traffic-related death in the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s jurisdiction this year, the department said.

The Raiders, which offers car services to players who may need them and which has a player engagement program that warns players of such risks, did not wait for the courts to act and sent a brief statement Tuesday night announcing the Ruggs ‘release. The Raiders had issued a statement earlier in the day saying the team was aware of the crash, “devastated by the loss of human life” and “in the process of gathering information.”

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy issued a statement saying, “Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the victim of this terrible tragedy. We will continue to gather facts and monitor the case under our policies, but our thoughts at present are with those affected by this devastating event. ”

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

The Ruggs were 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 quick wideout: “He was the only person I wanted in this draft.”

With 24 catches for 469 yards and two touchdowns, the Ruggs’ 19.5-yard-per-catch average was number two in the NFL among pass-catchers with at least 20 receptions.

Ruggs lost a childhood friend, Rod Scott, in a car accident in 2016, and Ruggs pays tribute to him by lifting three fingers – Scott carried No. 3 – to the sky after great performances.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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