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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 clerk.

The Athens-Clarke County Police Department has issued an arrest warrant, obtained Wednesday by the Associated Press, alleging that Carter raced his 2021 Jeep Trackhawk against the 2021 Ford Expedition driven by the recruiting clerk, 24-year-old Chandler LeCroy, who led to the wreck of January 15.

According to Lieutenant Shaun Barnett of the Athens-Clarke County Police Department, Carter should be in Indianapolis on Wednesday for the NFL reconnaissance party and is expected to process the warrant when he returns to Athens.

“It is my understanding that Mr. Carter is making arrangements to turn himself in,” Barnett said in an email to the AP.

The crash occurred just hours after the Bulldogs celebrated their second consecutive national championship with a parade and ceremony.

Georgia coach Kirby Smart expressed concern about the allegations in a statement released Wednesday.

“The charges announced today are deeply concerning, especially as we continue to grapple with the devastating loss of two beloved members of our community,” said Smart.

“We will continue to cooperate fully with authorities as we support these families and assess what we can learn from this terrible tragedy.”

According to the arrest warrant, the investigation by Athens police found that LeCroy and Carter were driving their vehicles “in a manner consistent with racing” after they left central Athens at around 2:30 a.m.

The warrant says there is evidence that the vehicles changed lanes, drove in the center exit lane, traveled in opposite lanes, overtook other motorists and were traveling at high speeds “in an apparent attempt to outrun each other”.

Police determined that LeCroy’s Expedition was traveling at approximately 104 mph shortly before the crash. The warrant says that LeCroy’s blood alcohol concentration was .197 at the time of the crash. The legal limit in Georgia is 0.08.

Police said in January that Willock was in the back seat of LeCroy’s vehicle and was not wearing a seat belt, while LeCroy was wearing a shoulder and lap belt.

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, suffered minor injuries. Georgia football staffer Victoria Bowles was hospitalized with more serious injuries. Both were passengers in LeCroy’s vehicle.

Georgia athletics department officials said on Jan. 28 that the vehicle driven by LeCroy was expected to be used only for recruiting activities, not for personal use.