(LAS VEGAS) — NFL wide receiver Henry Ruggs III was driving 156 mph seconds before he slammed his Corvette into the back of a Toyota SUV in Las Vegas early Tuesday morning, killing the driver, according to a police report.
Ruggs, who was released by the Las Vegas Raiders the same day as the accident, made his first court appearance on Wednesday showing visible cuts to the bridge of his nose and wearing a neck collar. The 22-year-old, who police said appeared impaired at the crash scene, has been charged with DUI resulting in death and reckless driving resulting in death. He did not enter a plea.
“It’s about choices, and if someone decides to drive under the influence, and drive in excess of 150 mph, we’re going to seek justice,” Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said at a press conference after Ruggs’ hearing. “This is a tragic and sad day. It’s a tragedy because a woman lost her life and a lot of other people are suffering. It’s also sad and tragic that Mr. Ruggs is potentially losing an entire career and facing a stiff prison sentence.”
The 23-year-old driver of the Toyota Rav4 who died in the crash has not been identified. A dog in the vehicle also was killed, according to a police report.
The police report tells of several eyewitnesses to the accident rushing to pull the woman from the burning vehicle, but she was trapped and rescuers were unable to help her as they were overcome by smoke and flames.
Ruggs refused a field sobriety test, according to police, but prosecutor Eric Bauman said in court Wednesday that he had a blood alcohol level of 0.161% — more than twice the legal limit in Nevada.
Prosecutors also said they found a loaded handgun on the floor of Ruggs’ Corvette.
Ruggs’ passenger, Kiara Je’nai Kilgo-Washington, 22, also suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the crash.
“Life is about choices. Mr. Ruggs made a choice,” Wolfson said. “And the difficulty I have is there’s so many alternatives. There’s ride-sharing. There’s a designated driver, there’s a taxi, there’s so many alternatives, but Mr. Ruggs made a choice and he’s going to have to live with the consequences.”
Wolfson said the minimum sentence for Ruggs would be two years, with a possible maximum of 46 years, though that could increase if gun charges are filed.
The former first-round pick, considered a rising star in the league, was leading the team in receiving yards and tied for the lead in receiving touchdowns.
Ruggs posted $150,000 bail. His next court appearance is Nov. 10.
ABC News’ Jennifer Watts and Bonnie McLean contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.