University of Georgia star defensive lineman Jalen Carter — projected as a top pick in the upcoming NFL draft — faces charges of reckless driving and racing in connection with a crash that killed teammate Devin Willock and team employee Chandler LeCroy, Athens-Clarke County police said.
Authorities believe alcohol played a part in the January 15 crash, which came just hours after the Georgia Bulldogs celebrated its second consecutive national championship in a parade through campus.
Toxicology results show LeCroy had a blood alcohol concentration of .197 at the time of the crash – more than twice the legal limit in Georgia, police said.
“The investigation found that Chandler LeCroy, driver of the 2021 Ford Expedition and Jalen Carter, driver of a 2021 Jeep Trackhawk, were operating their vehicles in a manner consistent with racing shortly after leaving the downtown Athens area at about 2:30 AM” on the night of the crash, the news release said.
“Alcohol impairment, racing, reckless driving, and speed were significant contributing factors to the crash,” police said.
Willock was ejected from the vehicle and died on the scene, and LeCroy died after being taken to a hospital.
Georgia head football coach Kirby Smart said the charges announced against Carter are “deeply concerning, especially as we are still struggling to cope with the devastating loss of two beloved members of our community.”
“We will continue to cooperate fully with the authorities while supporting these families and assessing what we can learn from this horrible tragedy,” Smart said in a written statement.
Carter’s mother, Toni Brown, declined to comment about the charges against her son, citing the “ongoing investigation.”
But she told CNN that Carter is not working out at the NFL combine – though that decision was not the result of the racing allegations, Brown said.