Former Alabama wide receiver Henry Ruggs III was involved in a fatal car accident this past week.
Ruggs, the fastest player in the 2020 NFL Combine, was drafted by the Las Vegas Raiders in the first round with the 12th overall selection. In one and a half professional seasons, he showcased a number of skills that made it seem like he’d have an immensely successful career.
Unfortunately, that all changed on Nov. 2 when he found himself at the center of a car accident that left a young woman and her dog dead. At the time of the crash, Ruggs reportedly had a blood alcohol content that was twice Nevada’s legal limit and had been traveling at 156 miles per hour.
Ruggs was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol resulting in death and reckless driving. He is staring down the barrel of an extremely long prison sentence.
On Wednesday, Alabama head coach Nick Saban opted to address what had transpired bluntly and with full transparency.
“Our thoughts and prayers certainly go out to all involved in this tragic situation, especially the victims,” he said.
“Our thoughts and prayers are certainly with them. But our thoughts and prayers are certainly with Henry, his family. This is something a lot of folks can learn from. A lot of players on our team. When we say challenge people to make good choices and decisions, do the right thing. Because sometimes the consequences can be devastating.
Saban went on to acknowledge that the fallout from this will change Ruggs’ life forever.
“And these consequences are probably going to be pretty devastating to Henry,” he conceded. “We love him. We’re going to support him through it. But we also have a lot of compassion for the victims and our thoughts and prayers are also with them.”
In the aftermath of the crash, additional details of what Ruggs had been up to on that fateful night have slowly started to trickle out. They come together to paint a sad picture.
Now that’s a Halloween costume. https://t.co/WVK6W11K9M
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 1, 2021
As Saban said, Ruggs’ life will never be the same after this. He caused two deaths – that’s not something you can just forget.
Any which way you look at this, a tragedy occurred. And moving on from it will be extremely difficult for all parties involved.