Georgia star Jalen Carter faces charges in crash that killed teammate, staffer

by Jacob Fuller

Rob Issa, FISM News

Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter, a potential No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming NFL draft, has been charged with reckless driving and racing stemming from an automobile crash that killed offensive lineman Devin Willock and recruiting staff member Chandler LeCroy.

Carter was scheduled to attend the NFL combine in Indianapolis this week but instead returned to Georgia to turn himself in to authorities.

The Athens-Clarke County Police Department issued an arrest warrant charging Carter with two misdemeanor violations. The warrant alleges Carter was racing his 2021 Jeep Trackhawk against the 2021 Ford Expedition driven by the 24-year-old LeCroy, which led to the wreck on Jan. 15.

Willock and LeCroy were out celebrating with the Bulldogs following a parade and ceremony honoring the team for winning its second straight national championship.

“This morning I received a telephone call from the Athens, Georgia, police department informing me that two misdemeanor warrants have been issued against me for reckless driving and racing,” Carter said in a statement he posted on social media.

Numerous media reports also have circulated this morning containing inaccurate information concerning the tragic events of January 15, 2023. It is my intention to return to Athens to answer the misdemeanor charges against me and to make certain that the complete and accurate truth is presented. There is no question in my mind that when all of the facts are known that I will be fully exonerated of any criminal wrongdoing.

Carter was among six players who weren’t present for scheduled media interviews at the combine on Wednesday.

Georgia coach Kirby Smart issued a statement expressing his concern about the charges against Carter.

“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.”


The arrest warrant states that an investigation by Athens police found LeCroy and Carter were operating their vehicles “in a manner consistent with racing” after leaving downtown Athens at about 2:30 a.m.

Per the warrant, evidence shows the vehicles switched lanes, drove in the center turn lane, drove in opposite lanes, passed other motorists, and drove at high rates of speed “in an apparent attempt to outdistance each other.”

Police determined the Expedition driven by LeCroy 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.

The 20-year-old Willock was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. LeCroy was transported to a hospital, where she died from her injuries. Officials from the Georgia athletic department previously said the vehicle driven by LeCroy was expected to be used only for recruiting activities, not personal use.

Bulldogs offensive lineman Warren McClendon, who had just announced plans to enter the NFL draft, sustained minor injuries in the crash. Victoria Bowles, who works on Georgia’s football staff, was hospitalized with more serious injuries.

It’s not known how the charges against Carter will impact his draft positioning. Several mock drafts had Carter sliding into the middle of the first round.

“First of all, that was a horrible tragedy,” Baltimore Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said. “There’s a lot more information. I’m not privy to that. I might be by the time the draft rolls around. It was a horrible thing that happened down there and I feel horrible for the families [and] the parents involved. I have children. It’s a horrible thing.”