Rey Maualuga is very lucky to be alive today ... 'cause TMZ Sports has obtained crash-scene photos that we're told show the ex-NFL star's ride T-boned a parked car straight into a tree Wednesday.
Maualuga was arrested in Villa Hills, Kentucky ... after cops say he drunkenly plowed through yards and mailboxes and then slammed into a car in his white Mercedes.
And, in photos of the aftermath of the crash, you can see just how fortunate Maualuga was to have avoided tragedy.
The pics show damaged mailboxes in the neighborhood, tire marks in people's grass, and a mangled Mercedes that appears to have hit a Hyundai so hard, it wedged it into a neighbor's tree trunk several yards away.
You can see in the photos, the Mercedes' airbags were deployed ... clearly showing just how fortunate Maualuga was to walk away unscathed.
Rey, though, is now facing some serious trouble regardless ... 'cause after cops took him from the scene, they booked him on multiple charges, including DUI and criminal mischief.
34-year-old Maualuga had already been arrested for DUI on other occasions in the past ... which means he could face serious punishment if he's ultimately charged and convicted.
Maualuga -- who played nine seasons in the NFL from 2009 through 2017 -- is due back in court for a hearing in the case in September.