Henry Ruggs III drove 156 mph seconds before fatal car crash, prosecutors say

Henry Ruggs III is released by the Raiders after he was involved in a car accident that killed a woman early Tuesday morning. (1:06).
Henry Ruggs III, a former Raiders wide receiver, was speeding at 156 mph and had a blood alcohol content twice the legal limit in Nevada when his car crashed into a burning vehicle, killing a 23 year-old woman.

Ruggs made his first court appearance Wednesday on the felony charges driving under the influence alcohol resulting in death, and reckless driving. If convicted, Ruggs could spend up to 26 years in prison. Ruggs was released by the Raiders on Tuesday night, hours after he was hospitalized and booked into a Las Vegas jail.

Prosecutors claimed Ruggs was travelling at 156 mph just seconds before the crash, and was speeding at 127 mph after the air bags were deployed in his car. Judge Joe M. Bonaventure replied that he can't recall ever being involved in a crash at speeds this high during his time on the bench.

Ruggs appeared with his lawyers, Richard Schonfeld and David Chesnoff. He was not asked to plead guilty to the charges until the formal filing by Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson.

The identity of the Las Vegas woman who was killed in the accident with her Toyota RAV4 and her dog, was not immediately released.

Las Vegas police identified Ruggs' passenger, Kiara Je'nai Kilgo Washington, 22, from Las Vegas.

Ruggs and Kilgo Washington were both hospitalized with unspecified injuries. Police said that the injuries, which were sustained after the Chevrolet Corvette he was driving crashed into the Toyota on Tuesday at 3:40 a.m. According to property records, Ruggs has a $1.1million home near the scene of the accident.

Eric Bauman, the prosecutor, stated that computer records of the Corvette's air bag collisions showed it decelerated between 156 and 127 mph just before it hit the Toyota. Bonaventure refused Bauman's request to set bail at $1 million and instead placed bail at $150,000 at Chesnoff’s request. The conditions included home confinement and electronic monitoring. There was no alcohol or driving. Ruggs had to surrender his passport.

Bauman stated that Ruggs' blood alcohol content was 0.161%. In a previous statement, police stated that Ruggs had "showed signs and impairment." Bauman stated that a loaded firearm was also found on the car's floor.

Bonaventure scheduled Ruggs' Nov. 10 court appearance.

Wolfson stated outside court that he may file a weapons offense and that Ruggs will be facing a second DUI case against Ruggs. This is based on the severe arm injuries Wolfson claimed Kilgo-Washington sustained.

Nevada does not offer probation for DUI causing death. This charge carries a potential sentence of between two and 20 years in prison. With probation, the possible sentence for reckless driving could be anywhere from one to six years imprisonment.

The Raiders sent out a short statement Tuesday night to announce Ruggs' release, and they didn't wait for the courts to act.

Both the team and league issued statements earlier in day stating that they were aware of the accident and offering condolences for the family of the victim and promising to find out more about "this terrible incident."

Ruggs lost Rod Scott, a childhood friend in a 2016 car accident. Ruggs remembers Scott by showing three fingers. Scott wore No. 3 -- To the heavens after big plays.

After three years of service at Alabama, Ruggs was selected 12th in the 2020 NFL Draft. He also helped the Crimson Tide win their first NCAA championship in 2017.

The AFC West-leading Raiders (5-2) have won two consecutive games under interim coach Rich Bisaccia. They now return to the field without their leading receiver in yards. On Sunday, they'll travel to New York Giants (2-6).

Ruggs had 24 receptions for 469 yards and two touchdowns. His 19.5 yards per catch average was second among pass-catchers who have at least 20 receptions.

This crash came less than one year after Josh Jacobs, Raiders running back, crashed his sports car into a tunnel wall at McCarran International airport in Las Vegas.

Jacobs was treated for a cut on his forehead. He was originally charged with driving while impaired. However, the charge was dropped one week later after Jacobs' blood alcohol levels did not exceed the 0.08% required to proceed with the case. Jacobs was represented by Schonfeld and Chesnoff in the case. Jacobs paid a $500 fine and mentored at a Boys & Girls Club to resolve a traffic violation for failure to exercise due diligence.

This report was contributed by ESPN's Paul Gutierrez, and The Associated Press.