We are months away from the crash that rocked the entire NFL world when Henry Ruggs’ life would change in an instant as he is now staring down years behind bars.
Tony Rodriguez, a witness who attempted to save Tina Tintor after a deadly crash involving the former Raiders wide receiver, recently recounted the deadly accident to Sports Illustrated contributor Jeff Pearlman in a story released this week.
According to Rodriguez, Ruggs was “dangling” out of his Corvette and he initially thought he was deceased.
“This whole thing has me f—ed up,” Rodriguez said.
“When Rodriguez stumbled upon the scene, he told Pearlman he parked the car in the middle of the street and ran to Kilgo-Washington first. She was screaming for help as Ruggs, who was not wearing a seatbelt, had halfway ejected from the vehicle.
“I was about to tell her not to move him, but it was too late—she grabbed him and pulled him fully out,” Rodriguez told Pearlman. “I have no idea who he is. I don’t care about football. Never heard of Henry Ruggs. But I didn’t see no life in his body. I thought he was dead.”
Then, Rodriguez and Ellis ran to Tintor’s vehicle. The RAV4’s windows and doors were locked, so Ellis ran to Rodriguez’s vehicle to retrieve a hammer in an attempt to rescue those inside. First, Ellis smashed the passenger-side window, but found no one inside. He threw the hammer to Rodriguez, who smashed open the driver’s window and found Tintor and Max inside.
Rodriguez punctured a discharged airbag inside the SUV and yelled to Tintor, “Come on! You have to help me! You have to!” Smoke surrounded them and was streaming out of the car’s front windows, making it impossible to breathe or see near the SUV.
As he attempted to free Tintor from her seatbelt, Rodriguez said he could hear breathing inside. The seatbelt was wrapped around the driver’s body tightly, and he was unable to free her.
Rodriguez said two more people came trying to help, but were unable to rescue Tintor. Ellis jumped away from the vehicle, but Rodriguez continued trying to get the 23-year-old out, to no avail.”
Ruggs’s Corvette, traveling at 127 mph, slammed into Tintor’s SUV and sent it 600 feet down the northbound lanes before it came to a rest and caught fire.
Tintor and her dog would burn to death as a result.
When recounting the ordeal, he said he has not gotten over it.
“I’m gonna be honest,” he told Pearlman. “God hasn’t gotten me through it.”
Ruggs’ blood was tested in the hospital and his BAC was 0.16%, twice the legal limit. He is currently on house arrest after being released on Nov. 3rd on $150,000 bail.