Raiders QB Derek Carr says he will be there for Henry Ruggs: ‘Could I have been better to help?’

As Henry Ruggs III faces DUI and reckless driving charges for his role in a fatal wreck this week, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr says he is there for his former teammate.

In a news conference Wednesday, Carr said that Ruggs “needs people to love him right now.”

“I will always be there for him. That won’t change, and I’ll prove that over the course of time to him. Not to anybody else,” Carr said. “He’s probably feeling a certain type of way right now. He needs to be loved. If no one else will do it, I’ll do it.”

Carr also said that he, Ruggs and wide receiver Hunter Renfrow were texting around midnight before the crash about golf swings. Carr said Ruggs asked the pair how his golf swing looked.

“Just seeing that and getting the news when we woke up, how am I supposed to handle that? How am I supposed to react?” Carr said. “I do sit back and I think, did I not let him know that I’d be there for him at 3 a.m.? I want to be better. Could I have been better to help? I just wish I could have done something.”

Las Vegas police said officers responded to a crash early Tuesday involving a Chevrolet Corvette and a Toyota Rav4. The next day, Chief Deputy District Attorny Eric Bauman said Ruggs, who was driving the Chevrolet Corvette, was traveling at 156 mph before he hit the Rav4 with a blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit.

The crash resulted in the death of 23-year-old Tina Tintor, and her dog.

“Tina’s tragic loss has devastated her family beyond a grief they could ever comprehend,” the statement read, according to USA Today. “Family was everything to Tina, and she was the light of her parents’ life. Tina lived in Las Vegas since she was a baby. She loved her 3-year-old Golden Retriever, Max, who passed alongside her Tuesday morning.

“The Tintor family appreciates privacy as they mourn. May Tina rest in peace. No further statements will be made from the family at this time.”

Ruggs’ girlfriend, Kiara Je’nai Kilgo-Washington, was in the passenger seat at the time of the crash. Both Ruggs and Kilgo-Washington were treated for “serious injuries,” according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, but the injuries were not considered life-threatening.

After Ruggs was released from the hospital, he was transferred to the county jail in downtown Las Vegas. His bail has been set at $150,000, but the state has asked for it to be $1 million. He has been ordered to return to court on Nov. 10.

If convicted of the DUI resulting in death charge, he could face two to 20 years in prison. Reckless driving would carry one to six years in prison.

“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,” Ruggs’ attorneys, David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld, said in a statement, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Ruggs was released by the Raiders later on Tuesday. 

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