Will Henry Ruggs III end up in prison after fatal accident?
Professional athletes have always been at the top of the pyramid among idols. They are talented, rich, and in top physical condition. They accomplish what we dream about in our backyards as we shoot the last-second game-winning shot, hit the walk-off home run, or catch a touchdown pass as the clock hits zero. However, there is always the possibility of an inevitable heartbreak & disappointment when their humanity shows.
For NFL wide receiver Henry Ruggs III, he showed this humanity in the darkest possible way. Early Tuesday morning, the Las Vegas Raider was involved in a collision that resulted in the death of another driver. Early reports show that Ruggs showed signs of impairment at the scene. What happened to cause this, and will Ruggs eventually end up in prison because of it?
Henry Ruggs III
He was a three-sport athlete in high school and played college football for Alabama. Ruggs was the fastest player at the 2020 NFL combine, and the Raiders selected him in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. One of the most remarkable things about Ruggs was his immediate impact. He didn’t play football until his junior year in high school and received his first scholarship offer after only his second game.
In 2017, Ruggs had 12 receptions for 229 yards and six touchdowns as a true freshman at Alabama; as a sophomore in 2018, he had 46 receptions for 741 yards and 11 touchdowns. In his junior year in 2019, he had 40 receptions for 746 receiving yards and seven receiving touchdowns. Ruggs was also the team’s primary kick returner during his junior season and averaged 23.8 yards per return.
His 24 total career receiving touchdowns places him third on Alabama’s all-time leaderboard. On January 6th, 2020, Ruggs announced that he would forgo his senior year and enter the 2020 NFL Draft. Ruggs ran a 4.27-second 40-yard dash at the 2020 NFL Combine, which was the fastest time by any prospect by .08 seconds, and tied for the fourth-fastest ever at the event since electronic timing began in 1999.
On September 13th, 2020, Ruggs made his NFL debut in the season opener against the Carolina Panthers, finishing with three receptions for 55 yards in the 34–30 win. During Week 5 against the Kansas City Chiefs, Ruggs finished with 118 receiving yards on only two receptions, including a 72-yard touchdown, his first NFL career touchdown, as the Raiders won 40–32.
Henry Ruggs III credits his friend Roderic Scott with encouraging him to play football in high school. Scott died in a car accident at 17 years of age, and Ruggs honors him with a three-fingered salute after every touchdown because Scott wore number 3 on the basketball court.
The star was involved in a fatal car accident early Tuesday and will be charged with DUI resulting in death. Las Vegas police confirmed that Ruggs “remained on the scene and showed signs of impairment.” The crash occurred at South Rainbow Boulevard and South Spring Valley Parkway in west Las Vegas Valley.
Officials arrived and found a Chevrolet Corvette and a Toyota Rav4. A deceased victim was found inside the Toyota, and the police statement claims that Ruggs was the driver of the Corvette. Citing law enforcement sources, it was first reported that Ruggs was involved in the 3:40 a.m. wreck. The front of the Corvette crashed into the rear of the Toyota, police said of their initial investigation.
“The Raiders are aware of an accident involving Henry Ruggs III that occurred this morning in Las Vegas,” the team wrote in a statement. “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.”
Charges and possible prison time
He was taken to the hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries, but all indications show he will be charged with a DUI resulting in death. His attorneys have released a statement, saying, “On behalf of our client Henry Ruggs III we are conducting our own investigation as of this writing and ask everyone to reserve judgment until all the facts are gathered.”
The typical sentence for this crime is three to seven years in prison, but it can also be seven to fourteen years, depending on the sentencing.
The investigation is ongoing, so not much is known about what will happen to Henry Ruggs III at this moment, but it is almost certain he will not be playing any more games for the rest of this NFL season, in which he was beginning to demonstrate his talent after his rookie year, having already surpassed his total yards in his rookie year at the halfway mark of the season.
A tragic possible end to an athlete who dedicated his entire football career to a friend who passed in a similar way at a young age.