ESPN News Services5 Minute Read
Former Georgia star Jalen Carter, one of many prime prospects in subsequent month’s NFL draft, has been charged with reckless driving and racing in reference to a crash that killed a teammate and a recruiting employees member.
The Athens-Clarke County (Georgia) Police Department has issued an arrest warrant, obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, which alleges Carter was racing his 2021 Jeep Trackhawk towards the 2021 Ford Expedition pushed by the recruiting staffer, 24-year-old Chandler LeCroy, which led to the Jan. 15 wreck.
The announcement got here hours after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Carter was current on the scene of the crash and later supplied shifting accounts of the wreck to police.
Devin Willock, who was an offensive lineman for the Bulldogs, and LeCroy have been killed in what police initially reported as a single-vehicle accident.
Carter is in Indianapolis on the NFL scouting mix. He had been slated to talk to reporters as a part of a beforehand scheduled media availability, however a league spokesperson later instructed reporters that Carter wouldn’t be talking Wednesday as a result of he and 5 different gamers have been nonetheless conducting physicals.
Reckless driving and racing are each misdemeanors in Georgia. Carter’s representatives instructed police that they have been “making preparations for [Carter] to show himself in,” in keeping with Shaun Barnett, a spokesman for the Athens-Clarke County Police Department.
Barnett instructed ABC News that Athens police “have been involved together with his representatives,” however mentioned he didn’t know when Carter will flip himself in.
Details of the investigation, launched Wednesday, cited proof that Carter and LeCroy have been “working their automobiles in a way per racing” shortly earlier than the crash.
“The proof demonstrated that each automobiles switched between lanes, drove within the middle flip lane, drove in reverse lanes of journey, overtook different motorists, and drove at excessive charges of pace, in an obvious try to outdistance one another,” the police assertion mentioned.
Police investigators have decided that “alcohol impairment, racing, reckless driving, and pace have been vital contributing elements to the crash.” A toxicology report indicated that LeCroy’s blood alcohol focus was .197 — greater than twice the authorized restrict in Georgia — on the time of the crash, in keeping with police.
The SUV pushed by LeCroy was travelling at about 104 mph shortly earlier than the crash.
“The expenses introduced right this moment are deeply regarding, particularly as we’re nonetheless struggling to deal with the devastating lack of two beloved members of our group,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart mentioned in a press release. “We will proceed to cooperate absolutely with the authorities whereas supporting these households and assessing what we will study from this horrible tragedy.”
According to paperwork and recordings of 911 calls reviewed by the Journal-Constitution, not less than two automobiles pushed by Georgia soccer gamers had been on the scene, together with the Jeep pushed by Carter, who left the scene earlier than police or emergency personnel arrived.
Carter returned to the scene lower than two hours later, in keeping with the paper, which reported that he was requested by police whether or not he had been racing the automobile that crashed.
Documents reviewed by the Journal-Constitution present that Carter first instructed police that he heard the crash from a close-by condominium complicated, however then later instructed an officer that he had been driving each behind and beside the SUV pushed by LeCroy.
The Journal-Constitution additionally obtained surveillance video footage from a number of downtown places in Athens taken the night time of the crash. The footage, which additionally has been reviewed by police, exhibits three automobiles leaving the world on the identical time: Carter’s Jeep, LeCroy’s Ford and a 2019 Dodge Charger pushed by Bulldogs linebacker Jamon Dumas-Johnson.
Carter denied racing to the officer, who noticed no indicators that the 310-pound defensive lineman had been consuming, in keeping with the Journal-Constitution.
The crash occurred hours after the Bulldogs celebrated successful back-to-back nationwide championships with a parade and ceremony at Sanford Stadium. Willock was pronounced useless on the scene. He was 20. LeCroy died shortly after being taken to a hospital.
Police investigators mentioned the Ford pushed by LeCroy “failed to barter a left curve, ensuing within the automobile putting the curb with its entrance passenger tire and leaving the roadway on the west shoulder.”
The SUV struck a Georgia Power pole and one other utility pole, slicing the poles in half, earlier than putting a tree on the rear passenger quarter panel. That despatched the automobile spinning in a clockwise route earlier than it slammed into one other tree on the driving force’s aspect — the place each LeCroy and Willock have been sitting.
Offensive lineman Warren McClendon, who had simply introduced plans to enter the NFL draft, sustained minor accidents. Georgia soccer staffer Victoria Bowles was hospitalized with extra critical accidents.
Georgia athletic division officers have acknowledged that the SUV pushed by LeCroy was for use just for recruiting actions, not private use.
Carter is the No. 1 total prospect within the draft, in keeping with ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. He isn’t collaborating within the exercise portion of the mix however will conduct interviews with groups and endure a bodily.
Information from The Associated Press was used on this report.