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Police have secured arrest warrants for former Georgia star Jalen Carter stemming from the top NFL draft prospect’s alleged involvement in a fatal crash involving a teammate.
The Athens-Clarke County Police Department announced Wednesday that Carter will be arrested for reckless driving and racing.
The announcement came hours after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Carter was present at the scene of the Jan. 15 crash and later provided shifting accounts of the wreck to police.
Devin Willock, an offensive lineman for the Bulldogs, and recruiting staff member Chandler LeCroy were killed in what police initially reported as a single-vehicle accident.
Details of the investigation, released Wednesday, cited evidence that Carter and LeCroy were “operating their vehicles in a manner consistent with racing” shortly before the crash.
“The evidence demonstrated that both vehicles switched between lanes, drove in the center turn lane, drove in opposite lanes of travel, overtook other motorists, and drove at high rates of speed, in an apparent attempt to outdistance each other,” the police statement said.
Police investigators have determined that “alcohol impairment, racing, reckless driving, and speed were significant contributing factors to the crash.” A toxicology report indicated that LeCroy’s blood alcohol concentration was .197 — more than twice the legal limit in Georgia — at the time of the crash, according to police.
The 2021 Ford Expedition driven by LeCroy was travelling at about 104 mph shortly before the crash.
Carter is scheduled to address reporters Wednesday morning in Indianapolis at the NFL scouting combine.
According to documents and recordings of 911 calls reviewed by the Journal-Constitution, at least two vehicles driven by Georgia football players had been at the scene, including the 2021 Jeep Trackhawk driven by Carter, who left the scene before police or emergency personnel arrived.
Carter returned to the scene less than two hours later, according to the paper, which reported that he was asked by police whether he had been racing the vehicle that crashed.
Documents reviewed by the Journal-Constitution show that Carter first told police that he heard the crash from a nearby apartment complex, but then later told an officer that he had been driving both behind and beside the SUV driven by LeCroy.
The Journal-Constitution also obtained surveillance video footage from multiple downtown locations in Athens, Georgia, taken the night of the crash. The footage, which also has been reviewed by police, shows three vehicles leaving the area at the same time: Carter’s Jeep, LeCroy’s Ford, and a 2019 Dodge Charger driven by Bulldogs linebacker Jamon Dumas-Johnson.
Carter denied racing to the officer, who observed no signs that the 310-pound defensive lineman had been drinking, according to the Journal-Constitution.
The crash occurred hours after the Bulldogs celebrated winning back-to-back national championships with a parade and ceremony at Sanford Stadium. Willock, 20, was pronounced dead at the scene while LeCroy, 24, died shortly after being taken to a hospital.
Police investigators said the Ford driven by LeCroy “failed to negotiate a left curve, resulting in the vehicle striking the curb with its front passenger tire and leaving the roadway on the west shoulder.”
The SUV struck a Georgia Power pole and another utility pole, slicing them in half, before striking a tree on the rear passenger quarter panel. That sent the vehicle spinning in a clockwise direction before it slammed into another tree on the driver’s side — where both LeCroy and Willock were sitting.
Georgia athletic department officials have stated that the SUV driven by LeCroy was to be used only for recruiting activities, not personal use.
Carter is the No. 1 overall prospect in this year’s draft, according to ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. He is not participating in the workout portion of this week’s NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis but will conduct interviews with teams and undergo a physical.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.