Hours after news broke of Henry Ruggs being charged with DUI resulting in the death of 23-year-old Tina O. Tintor and her dog on November 2, 2021, the Las Vegas Raiders released the 22-year-old 2020 first-round draft pick. The wide receiver appeared in court on Wednesday, where many details regarding the car crash were revealed by prosecutor Eric Bauman.
The prosecutor said in court that Ruggs was driving at 156 mph just two seconds before impact and at 127 mph when airbags were deployed, per Katelyn Newberg of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The publication reported that a police report indicated Tintor died after being trapped in her vehicle as it “burst into flames.”
Ruggs faces a long legal process but the Raiders have to move on and continue playing football. The team is barely getting over the resignation of head coach Jon Gruden and now has to play through a much more serious situation.
Quarterback Derek Carr has led the team through a number of difficult circumstances and this may be his toughest challenge yet. He had developed a strong relationship with Ruggs since he was drafted and was devastated by the news.
“My emotions have been on a roller coaster, so to speak, this year,” Carr told reporters Wednesday. “My heart goes out so much, and try to say it with a straight face, because I’ve already been emotional about every bit of this, but to the family and to all the families involved. … No one ever wants to see this, whether it’s a football player or not, you never want to see something like this happen. It broke my wife and I’s heart, honestly.”
The Raiders don’t get any time to process the situation as they face the New York Giants for Week 9 just five days after the crash. The team rallied after Gruden’s resignation and had an impressive win over the Denver Broncos in Week 6. This team’s mettle will be tested even further this Sunday.
ALL the latest Raiders news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Raiders newsletter here!
Carr Reveals That Ruggs Texted Him Hours Before the Crash
The human element to this whole situation will be what most affects the Raiders. Ruggs was a beloved player in the locker room and a key contributor on the field. He’s not coming back to the team after being one of their most impactful players just days ago. Carr revealed a haunting bit of information regarding the night of Ruggs’ crash.
“I will tell you, I walked by and you know saw Henry’s locker, and for whatever reason, that got me,” Carr said. “Like, he’s not gonna be there. Not because he’s fast, not because of what he can do for me, but because of the person that he is and because I love him. He literally texted me at midnight his golf swing, me and Hunter [Renfrow], ‘How’s my swing look? You guys need to help me.’ Just seeing that and then getting the news when we woke up, I just. … How am I supposed to handle that? How am I supposed to react? I’m trying my best, I’m doing my best.”
“I have to compartmentalize, and I have a job to do. … We have a game this week, and I’ve got a job to do, and so do the guys in that locker room,” he said, acknowledging that it feels odd to have to focus on football under the circumstances.
Carr noted that Ruggs had shown him his golf swing. Fans have reported on social media that the wide receiver posted a video of himself playing golf at Topgolf in Las Vegas, where people can play golf while enjoying food and drink.
It’s unclear if Topgolf was the last place Ruggs attended before getting in his car and heading home. Topgolf’s website says that the business closes at 12 a.m. Monday to Thursday so it would’ve been closed hours before Ruggs’ crash at 3:39 a.m. local time.
Head Coach Rich Bisaccia Addresses Situation
Interim head coach Rich Bisaccia came into this season with no head coaching experience but now has the toughest job in the entire NFL. He was able to rally the team after Gruden resigned and faces a situation that even the most experienced head coach would have trouble navigating. He had a chance to speak to the media and put the focus on the victim’s family.
“A person lost their life yesterday morning and we think it’s important to keep the focus on that as we talk about this tragic event,” Bisaccia told reporters Wednesday. “We’re deeply saddened for everyone affected. Especially the victim’s family.”
Bisaccia also sent a message to Ruggs.
“That being said, we love Henry Ruggs and we want him to know that,” Bisaccia said. “His terrible lapse in judgment of the most horrific kind. It’s something he will have to live with for the rest of his life.”