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Ruggs' lawyers allege firefighters had time to put out blaze that engulfed Tintor's car

Fatal crash Henry Ruggs charged 2021-11-02
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Posted at 5:41 PM, Nov 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-11 01:18:09-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Lawyers representing former Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III accused firefighters of failing to act quickly enough to put out the fire that engulfed 23-year-old Tina Tintor's vehicle.

Ruggs is accused of DUI resulting in Tintor's death after a high-speed crash last week.

In new court documents filed Wednesday and obtained by 13 Action News, Ruggs' attorneys allege firefighters “were in a position to extinguish the vehicle fire while it was in its infancy stages and failed to do so.”

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Clark County spokesman Erik Pappa denied the allegations in a statement issued shortly after 6 p.m.:

“There were no delays in response or in the attack on the fire," Pappa said in a the statement. "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 stated 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.”

Prosecutors allege Ruggs was driving his Chevrolet Corvette at 156 mph seconds before the crash and had a blood alcohol content of .16 — twice the legal limit. According to an arrest report, Ruggs was traveling northbound on Rainbow Blvd. near Spring Valley Pkwy. when he crashed into the back of Tintor's Toyota RAV-4, which burst into flames. Multiple witnesses attempted to pull Tintor from the vehicle, but she was trapped inside and died at the scene along with her dog, Max. Ruggs sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

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A witness told Ruggs' attorneys they heard the crash and went to investigate, according to court filings. The witness stated firefighters were on scene when just one part of Tintor's car was on fire and they didn't see firefighters attempt to extinguish the blaze until approximately 20 minutes after the crash happened, at which point Tintor's vehicle was completely engulfed.

Using this account as evidence, Ruggs' attorneys filed a subpoena requesting Clark County Fire Department communications, photos and videos related to the crash, arguing the information could be exculpatory evidence in their client's case.