LAS VEGAS — 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 the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, 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 also 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.
Ruggs was released from the hospital later Tuesday and booked into the Clark County Detention Center at 2:11 p.m. local time on pending charges. His initial court appearance before a judge reportedly was scheduled for Wednesday morning.
Charges have not yet been 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. He faces a possible sentence of one to six years on the reckless driving charge.
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 are aware of an accident involving Henry Ruggs III that occurred this morning in Las Vegas. 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 team said in a statement.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said: “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.”
The Raiders (5-2) were on their bye week but reported back to team headquarters on Monday before having an off day on Tuesday. They were scheduled to begin practicing Wednesday before Sunday’s game at the New York Giants (2-6).
Ruggs lost a childhood friend, Rod Scott, in a car accident in 2016, and Ruggs pays tribute to him by putting up three fingers — Scott wore No. 3 — to the sky after big plays.
Ruggs was the Raiders’ first-round draft pick in 2020 out of Alabama, No. 12 overall, and at the time, Raiders owner Mark Davis said of the speedy wideout, “He was the only person I wanted in this draft.”
With 24 catches for 469 yards and two touchdowns, Ruggs’ 19.5 yards per catch average is second in the NFL among pass-catchers with at least 20 receptions. Ruggs was drafted for his speed — he ran a 4.27-second 40-yard dash at the combine — and ability to stretch the field, and all four of his career touchdowns have been at least 46 yards.
On Jan. 4, Raiders Pro Bowl running back Josh Jacobs was involved in a single-car accident and arrested for DUI after a crash near the McCarran Airport Connector and East Sunset Road at 4:42 a.m., hours after the Raiders’ season-finale victory at Denver. But an ensuing investigation found Jacobs’ blood alcohol level was below the legal limit and DUI charges were not filed.
ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez and The Associated Press contributed to this report.