University of Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter turned himself in to Athens Clarke County Police Wednesday evening on reckless driving and racing charges in conjunction with the January crash that killed offensive lineman Devin Willock and a recruiting staff member.
Athens Clarke County Jail records show Carter was booked at about 11:33 p.m. Wednesday. He posted a $4,000 bond for both charges just minutes later and was released at 11:49 p.m.
This comes after the Athens-Clarke County Police Department issued a statement Wednesday, saying they believed 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. LeCroy and offensive lineman Devin Willock both died in that wreck on Jan. 15.
Carter released a statement on his Twitter account Wednesday afternoon following the allegations.
"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," the statement reads. "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."
Original story published Wednesday, March 1 at 11:07 a.m.:
ATLANTA (AP) — 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.
The crash occurred just hours after the Bulldogs celebrated their second straight national championship with a parade and ceremony, killing LeCroy and Willock.
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 rates of speed “in an apparent attempt to outdistance each other."
Police determined LeCroy's Expedition was traveling at about 104 mph (167 kph) 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.
Carter was due in Indianapolis on Wednesday for the NFL scouting combine. It was not immediately known if he could face arrest in Indianapolis or if Athens police would await his return to Georgia.
Willock, 20, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. LeCroy was transported to a hospital, where she died from her injuries.
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.
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.
Editor's note: AccessWDUN's news staff assisted with this report.