BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Former Crimson Tide player and Las Vegas Raider Henry Ruggs III has posted bond after a crash that killed a 23-year-old woman involving both speed and alcohol.
Prosecutors say Ruggs was driving 156 miles per hour on a residential street seconds before impact with a blood alcohol level over two times above the legal limit.
“When I heard the news that was tough for me to hear,” former Alabama teammate Tua Tagovailoa from the same recruiting and draft class said. “The kind of person Henry is, you never think this guy could hurt a soul,” Tagovailoa said. “When you see something like that, I’m still kind of in disbelief.”
Former Tide teammate Jalen Hurts sharing his condolences.
“It’s unfortunate to see a situation like that unfold,” Hurts said. “I’ll just kind of leave it at that. It hurts my heart for everybody involved.”
Attorney Eric Guster handles auto accidents and wrongful death cases in Jefferson County. He said the case will shape into a criminal side – jail time, and monetary damages side as the victim’s family files a wrongful death case.
“If someone was overserved at a bar or restaurant, that bar can be liable for what that person does when they leave,” Guster said. “We can cheer for [former teammates], we can love these players, we can rally for them when they get to the NFL, but they must be held accountable for all of their actions.”
Coach Nick Saban said Alabama will support Ruggs and the victim during this tragic situation.
“This is something a lot of folks can learn from I think a lot of players on our team when we say challenge people to make good choices and do the right thing because sometimes the consequences can be devastating,” Saban said.
Guster calls this a teachable moment.
“Vehicles are weapons, and we have to treat them with the respect they deserve,” Guster said. “Don’t get behind that car drunk, don’t drive recklessly because you might think you’re on Fast and Furious the movie, but people die.”
During Ruggs’ arraignment we learned that the NFL has contracted with rideshare programs to provide free rides to players to prevent these types of tragedies.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving, M.A.D.D., released a statement saying it will be working with the Raiders to make sure all members of the organization understand the consequences of impaired driving.
If convicted, Ruggs could face mandatory prison time ranging from two to 46 years.