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Henry Ruggs’s attorneys blame ‘slow’ firefighters for death of woman he allegedly hit at 127mph

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If you thought the number of maladies contributing to America’s rapid decline couldn’t grow any larger and that society couldn’t get any sicker, you were wrong.

Attorneys for Henry Ruggs III, the ex-Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver accused of killing 23-year-old Tina Tintor in a car wreck, have filed a defense argument that seeks to blame Las Vegas firefighters for not arriving at the scene quickly enough to extinguish the vehicle fire that consumed Tintor and her dog, Max, killing both.

As BPR reported:

“Law enforcement officials in Las Vegas said the Corvette driven by Ruggs had reached speeds of 156 mph before slowing down to 127 mph at the impact point of the crash. Ruggs was tested for intoxication and found to have a BAC of 0.161, or twice the legal limit in the state of Nevada.”

“Las Vegas Police stated that Ruggs exhibited signs of impairment at the crash site. He was booked and arrested on felony charges of DUI resulting in death and reckless driving after he was evaluated for injuries at a local hospital.”

 

Defense attorneys David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld suggested that Las Vegas firefighters’ slow response time may have played a part in Tintor’s death. How they sleep at night is unknown.

According to court documents now on file, an unnamed witness who resided near the crash site and arrived at the scene shortly after claimed firefighters were slow to extinguish Tintor’s RAV4 after it was engulfed in flames following the impact from Ruggs’ Corvette.

“Firemen did not attempt to extinguish the fire at Ms. Tintor’s vehicle for approximately 20 minutes at which time the entire vehicle was engulfed in flames,” the court filing read.

Defense counsel further stated in the filing that when witnesses arrived, the fire in Tintor’s vehicle was “limited to one exterior area,” and that firefighters were “in a position to extinguish the vehicle fire while it was in its infancy stages and failed to do so.”

Clark County, NV spokesman Erik Pappa defended the responding firefighters and described the conflagration as being impossible to survive, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

“There were no delays in response or in the attack on the fire,” Pappa said. ‘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.”

Pappa stated that while there was an area of the vehicle that continuously rekindled – a problem common to vehicle fires – the firemen onsite “continuously extinguished this area as it reignited.”

Ruggs’ defense attorneys sought a court order to obtain Clark County Fire Department records about the fatal November 2 crash. A Nov. 17 court hearing was scheduled at that time, and a state judge set a Dec. 16 preliminary hearing of evidence to determine whether or not Ruggs will face trial.

One witness at the scene told KTNV.com that Tintor was still alive following the crash and that the fire was about the size of his own body. Nevertheless, he and his friend struggled to free her from the car as she screamed.

“I thought for sure we were going to be able to do something. The fire was so small at the time,” Tony Rodriguez told the outlet. “It just grew fast. Really fast. There was one person with a fire extinguisher, a county worker. That didn’t work. It wasn’t enough. It was just so fast.”

“Everything we tried just wasn’t working. The fire just grew so fast,” he said. “She was actually still alive. You could hear her breathing. She had her seat belt on and I was trying to cut that away. Trying to grab them by their shoulders and pull them out but that wasn’t working. They were pinned. The seat belt was on, the airbags were in the way and the door was jammed.”

Ruggs faces at least two years of mandatory prison time if convicted. Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said Ruggs could face more than 50 years of incarceration if he is convicted on all counts. He is reportedly currently under house arrest and must submit to sobriety checks four times daily as he awaits his fate.

Records show that Ruggs owns a $1.1 million home not far from where the crash occurred.

The Daily Mail wrote, “Tintor, 23, emigrated from Serbia when she was a child, graduated from a Las Vegas high school and worked at a Target store. A friend told reporters last week that Tintor wanted to become a computer programmer and was close to obtaining her U.S. citizenship. Her dog, Max, also died in the crash and fire.”

A funeral for Tintor was held on Thursday at St. Simeon Serbian Orthodox Church in Las Vegas. Raiders owner Mark Davis was among the more than 100 mourners attending the funeral which was followed by a private burial at a Las Vegas cemetery.

Frank Webster

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