Georgia’s Jalen Carter charged with racing in crash that killed teammate, staff member
Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter, projected as one of the top players in next month’s NFL draft, has been charged with reckless driving and racing in conjunction with the crash that killed offensive lineman Devin Willock and a recruiting staff member.
The Athens-Clarke County Police Department has issued an arrest warrant, obtained Wednesday by the Associated Press, that alleges Carter was racing his 2021 Jeep Trackhawk against the 2021 Ford Expedition driven by the recruiting staffer, 24-year-old Chandler LeCroy, which led to the Jan. 15 wreck.
Carter had been due in Indianapolis on Wednesday for the NFL scouting combine and is expected to address the arrest warrant when he returns to Athens, according to Lt. Shaun Barnett of the Athens-Clarke County Police Department.
“It is my understanding that Mr. Carter is making arrangements to turn himself in,” Barnett said in an email to the AP.
Georgia football player Devin Willock wasn’t wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle in a weekend crash that killed him and a recruiting staff member, police say.
The crash occurred just hours after the Bulldogs celebrated their second straight national championship with a parade and ceremony.
Georgia coach Kirby Smart expressed concern about the charges in a statement issued Wednesday.
“The charges announced today are deeply concerning, especially as we are still struggling to cope with the devastating loss of two beloved members of our community,” Smart said.
“We will continue to cooperate fully with the authorities while supporting these families and assessing what we can learn from this horrible tragedy.”
According to the arrest warrant, the investigation by Athens police found that LeCroy and Carter were operating their vehicles “in a manner consistent with racing” after leaving downtown Athens around 2:30 a.m.
The warrant says evidence shows the vehicles switched lanes, drove in the center turn lane, drove in opposite lanes, overtook other motorists and drove at high speeds “in an apparent attempt to outdistance each other.”
Police determined LeCroy’s Expedition was traveling at about 104 mph shortly before the crash. The warrant says LeCroy’s blood-alcohol concentration was .197 at the time of the crash. The legal limit in Georgia is .08.
Police said in January that Willock was in the back seat of LeCroy’s vehicle and not wearing a seat belt, while LeCroy was wearing a shoulder and lap restraint.
Willock, 20, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. LeCroy was taken to a hospital, where she died.
Offensive lineman Warren McClendon, who had just announced plans to enter the NFL draft, sustained minor injuries. Georgia football staffer Victoria Bowles was hospitalized with more serious injuries. Both were passengers in LeCroy’s vehicle.
Georgia athletic department officials said on Jan. 28 that the vehicle driven by LeCroy was expected to be used only for recruiting activities, not personal use.
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