A Las Vegas Raiders’ star player is under fire for causing a fatal car wreck. Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III was arrested this week for causing a car accident that killed someone – and he was highly intoxicated at the time. The result of his bad decisions ended the life of a 23-year-old woman, and the accident has again raised the question of whether or not the Raiders can peacefully exist in Las Vegas. A party city going head to head with professional sports stars known for reckless behavior – is there any way to make it work? If you look into the eyes of the grieving family members who just lost a loved one to the party culture – the answer may be, “no.”
More Info Emerges Plus a Shocking Accident Video
In the wake of the fatal accident caused by Ruggs, Las Vegas is in turmoil. The name of the victim – Tina Tintor – has been released, along with more information about the accident itself. We now know that Ruggs’ blood alcohol was around .161, more than twice the legal limit. The alcohol appears to have been consumed at a local bar called TopGolf, and witnesses suggest he may have consumed as many as 18 drinks over the span of a few hours.
And more details about the wreck have people reeling in shock. According to witnesses, Tintor could be heard screaming as her car was engulfed in flames, and we know that her dog was killed alongside her in the accident. In a video released by TMZ of the aftermath of the wreck, the vehicle can be seen burning and someone who appears to be Ruggs sitting on the ground nearby, acting dazed and disconnected.
Vegas’s sports world is turned upside down by the week’s events, and fans of the Raiders are torn over the aftermath. While no one seems to dispute the Raiders’ decision to let go of Ruggs – and the fact that his merchandise has been pulled from team websites – some fans think he’s getting too much attention from his celebrity status. Others don’t believe he’s being held to a high enough standard because of that same celebrity. On Twitter, war seems to have broken out between fans who believe as quarterback and Ruggs’ friend Derek Carr does – that Ruggs made a horrible mistake and “needs love” – and those who believe he should have the book thrown at him because celebrities and sports stars don’t deserve any special treatment. In an ESPN thread sharing Carr’s words of support on Twitter, one user replied, “Facts. He needs love. What he did was stupid selfish and BEYOND immature. But he did not wake the morning nor party that night with the INTENT to kill anyone. He’s going to be punished for it just will be served but he should still be treated with love. It won’t be easy but yes.”
Another has a different point of view and added, “Got behind the wheel drunk. No excuses or letting him off because he didn’t wake up that way or this way…”
On Twitter #RipTina is also trending, as fans of the Raiders express their shock and heartache over Tinter’s death. One user going by “Boy” shared pictures of themselves with Tintor and the caption, “My sister from another, since we were 5, who knew that night was the last time I’ll see you and walk with your dog. Our holidays are coming up & it’s gonna be weird to not be with you, no more boba, no more doing kind acts together, no more you and Maxi. RIP Tina & Max.”
Battle lines seem to have been drawn between the fans who believe Ruggs made a grievous but unintentional mistake, and those who don’t care what his intentions were. Meanwhile, Tintor’s loved ones continue to grieve and hope that the justice process plays out fairly. Ruggs made an appearance in court this week still sporting a neck brace and cut across his nose.
On Tuesday morning around 3:30 AM, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police responded to a car accident around the intersection of South Rainbow Boulevard and South Spring Valley Parkway. Ruggs was behind the wheel of a Chevrolet Corvette and he struck a Toyota Rav 4. The driver of the Rav 4 was killed, and her identity has not been released although we know it was a 23-year-old woman.
At the time of their response, police report that Ruggs seemed obviously intoxicated. It has since been revealed that Ruggs was driving at around 156MPH when the accident occurred and he was drunk or otherwise impaired. The star player will be facing a felony charge of driving under the influence resulting in death which could result in up to 20 years in prison.
Ruggs is Released
Ruggs was released from custody – and then released from the Raiders. Newsweek reports via MSN, “Shortly after the crash, the Raiders issued a statement saying that they were aware of the incident. ‘We are devastated by the loss of life and our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim’s family,’ the team said.
A few hours later, the Raiders announced on Twitter that they released Ruggs. As reported by ESPN, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement that ‘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 statement read.”
It’s a stunning rebuke from the Raiders, but it may be the only thing that saves their relationship with the city they call home.
Las Vegas May Be Danger Zone for Raiders
From the beginning, talking about moving pro football players into Las Vegas was fraught with problems. The city is known to be free, party-centered, and somewhat debaucherous. While that may make for a fun weekend with the girls or guys, it may spell disaster for pro players. Football players often fall into the trap of money and fame – they get an excess of both, and if you throw that kind of ego-boosting danger inspiration into a city like Las Vegas, it may be a recipe for disaster. This certainly isn’t the first – and won’t be the last – time someone with too much money and not enough accountability took someone’s life. For another example, look no further than the tragic case of Monique Munoz, killed by 17-year-old Brendan Khuri whose father then launched a PR campaign to clean up the family name. Brendan’s father James Khuri callously worried about image as Munoz’s family grieved. Her death caused a resurgence in the debate around privilege and responsibility among the wealthy, a debate which carries over into this accident with Ruggs.
So the question is, can pro sports players exist in a city like Las Vegas without leaving destruction in their wake? Sure, it’s happened in other cities. But in order to allow the team to co-exist peacefully with its host city, they have to do exactly what they did: decisively and immediately hold the player accountable and take a zero tolerance stance.
By immediately releasing Ruggs, the Raiders sent a message that says, “We won’t tolerate this sort of behavior. If you make bad choices, you lose your career.” Of course, his career may be the last thing he needs to worry about with the possibility of two decades in prison.
Rugg’s release from the Raiders and the possibility of serious prison time won’t bring their loved one back, but at least the family members of the woman who died will know that Ruggs won’t be able to make such a reckless decision again. It’s small comfort, but it’s the only thing they have left to hope for.
If anyone has information concerning where Ruggs spent his time in the hours leading up to the wreck, please reach out to our editors at .