LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Lawyers for Henry Ruggs III claim firefighters waited 20 minutes to extinguish a fire that was sparked after the ex-Las Vegas Raiders player crashed his car into another, killing its driver and her dog.
Court documents obtained by the I-Team include the claim from Ruggs’ attorneys, David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld, as well as their request for documents regarding the firefighters’ response.
Ruggs is facing charges of DUI resulting in death and reckless driving resulting in death in connection with a deadly crash on Nov. 2. Court documents revealed Ruggs had a blood-alcohol level twice the legal limit and was speeding at 156 mph seconds before the crash.
In court Wednesday, Judge Suzan Baucum ordered Ruggs to appear in court next week over a missed alcohol check-in, which he is required to do four times a day as part of his house arrest.
Ruggs’ attorneys appeared on his behalf Wednesday morning for a motion hearing. Although his attorneys argued Ruggs has been dutiful and self-tested shortly after missing the test, Baucum said that didn’t matter and ordered him to appear in court next Monday.
His Corvette rear-ended Tina Tintor’s car on Rainbow Boulevard near Spring Valley Parkway causing it to catch fire, killing her and her dog.
According to documents filed in court, Ruggs’ attorneys described him as “an upstanding and honorable member of our community.” They noted Ruggs has no prior criminal record.
Ruggs, who is from Alabama, graduated from the University of Alabama. The I-Team asked officials there for a record of any citations or criminal history, which turned up no results.
Ruggs’ attorneys were in court Wednesday on a motion to get all Clark County Fire Department communications regarding the crash. Baucum told the attorneys they can issue their own subpoena for those records.
According to court documents, the attorneys are seeking all communication from any member of the Clark County Fire Department who responded to the crash. They are also seeking all communication from a person who responded who may have texted or emailed an employee who was not on the scene.
“Through investigation conducted by the defense, namely the discovery of a percipient witness, it has been revealed that the Clark County Fire Department was in a position to extinguish the vehicle fire while it was in its infancy stages and failed to do,” court documents said.
According to court documents, Ruggs’ lawyers claim “firemen did not attempt to extinguish the fire… for approximately 20 minutes at which time the entire vehicle was engulfed in flames.”
The Clark County Fire Department issued a statement last week saying, “There were no delays in the response or in the attack on the fire.”
“The captain on the scene reported that the vehicle was fully involved in fire upon arrival and the passenger compartment was not survivable for anyone inside. There was a continuous rekindle in one area of the car that gave the crews some trouble, which is not unusual in vehicle fires. The captain states there was some material that was dripping, possibly from a fuel line that was reigniting in the passenger-side, rear-wheel area. The fire crews continuously extinguished this area as it reignited.”
A 911 caller who alerted dispatchers shortly after the crash said, “All I see is flames.”