‘God knows how fast that guy was going’: LVMPD release BWC videos of fatal wreck involving ex-NFL player
The four hours of BWC videos show the scene after a Corvette, driven by ex-NFL player Henry Ruggs III, struck and killed a woman in a Toyota RAV4
By Mark Inabinett
LAS VEGAS — The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department released 10 body-camera videos on Thursday evening from its response to the fatal wreck that will result in a prison sentence for former Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III.
During the almost four hours of video, one policeman wondered to another if they would have been able to save Tina Tintor’s life had they arrived a couple of minutes earlier. The other policeman was doubtful, given the severity of the wreck.
While the videos show the officers carrying out the mundane traffic-accident duties of placing police tape, lighting flares and directing motorists, other images include the victim’s car completely engulfed in flames and emitting the sounds of explosions as police arrived.
The deadly accident occurred in Las Vegas at 3:39 a.m. Nov. 2, 2021, when a Corvette driven by Ruggs struck a Toyota RAV4 driven by Tintor, a 23-year-old Las Vegas resident.
Originally facing five charges, Ruggs pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol and/or controlled or prohibited substance resulting in death and misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter in a plea arrangement on May 10 in the 8th Judicial District Court in Las Vegas.
Ruggs is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 9 to between three and 10 years of incarceration by the Nevada Department of Corrections, without the possibility of parole or appeal, under the terms of the agreement.
Shortly after arriving at the scene, one policeman is approached by a pleading man.
“I know somebody’s probably in there,” the man said, referring to the burning car, “but this is Henry Ruggs right here. This is Henry Ruggs right here. He plays for the Raiders. He needs help ASAP.”
The videos show Ruggs sitting on the curb, a few yards from his crumbled Corvette.
A pass-catching star at Lee High School in Montgomery and Alabama, Ruggs joined the Raiders as the 12th selection of the 2020 NFL Draft after he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.27 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine, the fastest time at that year’s event.
At the time of his arrest, Ruggs had 50 receptions for 921 yards and four touchdowns in 20 NFL games for Las Vegas. The Raiders released Ruggs on the same day the wreck occurred.
On one of the videos, a policeman wonders: “God knows how fast this guy was going.”
Law-enforcement authorities say Ruggs’ Corvette was traveling at 156 mph 2.5 seconds before impact and 127 mph at the time of the collision. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department used data from the car’s airbag control module to find those speeds.
The Las Vegas police department reported tests on Ruggs at University Medical Center of Southern Nevada within two hours of the accident showed he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.161 percent. The legal limit in Nevada is 0.08 percent.
Concerns about whether that blood-alcohol test would be admissible if Ruggs went to trial seemed to be the root of the Clark County District Attorney’s Office accepting the plea arraignment.
“Absolutely obliterated,” a policeman said as he looked at the extinguished remains of Tintor’s Toyota in one of the videos. “I mean that thing was hell when we got here.”
The Clark County Office of the Coroner determined Tintor died from “thermal injuries due to a motor-vehicle collision.”
The Coroner’s Office also determined that significant conditions contributing to Tintor’s death “were inhalation of products of combustion, fractures of the nasal bones, right-sided ribs and left forearm, and a left hemothorax.” (A hemothorax is a collection of blood in the space between the chest wall and the lung.)
At the scene, police talked to a witness who said he tried to get the “two people” out of the burning car but had to retreat in the face of the flames.
Tintor was the only person in the burning vehicle. Her golden retriever also died in the crash.