Among the best candidates for the upcoming NFL draught, former Georgia standout Jalen Carter has been accused of careless driving and racing in association with an accident that claimed the lives of a colleague and a scouting staff member.
The Associated Press on Wednesday acquired an arrest order issued by the Athens-Clarke County (Georgia) Police Department that claims Carter was racing his 2021 Jeep Trackhawk against the 2021 Ford Excursion driven by 24-year-old Chandler LeCroy, a member of the recruiting team, on January 15.
Carter was reportedly present at the site of the accident and gave authorities conflicting versions of what happened afterward, according to a story in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which was published hours before the statement.
The collision that took the lives of Bulldogs offensive tackle Devin Willock and LeCroy was originally reported by authorities to have involved a single car.
Carter is currently in Indy for the NFL recruiting combine. Despite a previously planned media appearance, a league representative informed reporters on Wednesday that Carter and five other players would not be available to talk because they were still undergoing physicals.
In Georgia, both reckless driving and racing are considered minor traffic violations.
Posting later on Wednesday, Carter said he plans to travel to Athens to “address the minor accusations against me and to ensure that the full and exact truth is given.”
Agents were informed by Carter’s agents that they were “making plans for [Carter] to turn himself in,” as stated by Athens-Clarke County Police Department spokesman Shaun Barnett.
Athens police “have been in touch with his agents,” Barnett told ABC News, adding that he did not know when Carter would surrender.
In addition, Carter said he anticipates being “completely exonerated of any illegal misconduct.”
Investigation details were published on Wednesday, and they mentioned proof that Carter and LeCroy were “running their cars in a way compatible with racing” immediately before the collision.
In an apparent effort to outdistance each other, “the proof showed that both cars shifted between lanes, drove in the centre turn lane, drove in opposing directions of traffic, passed other commuters, and drove at high rates of speed,” the police said.
“alcohol intoxication, racing, careless driving, and speed were major contributory factors in the collision,” the police say. Upon further investigation, authorities discovered that LeCroy’s BAC at the time of the accident was 197, which is over twice the legal limit in Georgia.
LeCroy’s Vehicle was going about 104 mph right before it crashed.
The allegations revealed today are profoundly troubling, particularly as we are still trying to deal with the tragic loss of two cherished members of our community,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said in a statement. We will continue to work with the officials, provide assistance to the victims’ relatives, and evaluate what we can learn from this terrible incident.
At least two cars driven by Georgia football players were at the site, including the Wrangler driven by Carter, who departed before police or emergency workers arrived, according to papers and tapes of 911 conversations examined by the Journal-Constitution.
There was a story in the paper that less than two hours later, Carter returned to the site and was questioned by officers if he had been racing the car that collided.
According to court documents obtained by the Journal-Constitution, at first Carter told officers that he heard the collision from an adjacent apartment complex, but later he changed his story and said he had been following and passing LeCroy’s Vehicle.
The Journal-Constitution was also given access to security film from several buildings in central Athens that was recorded on the night of the collision. Three cars can be seen departing the area at the same moment in the video, which has been examined by police: Carter’s Wrangler, LeCroy’s Ford, and Bulldogs defender Jamon Dumas-2019 Johnson’s Dodge Charger.
Carter told the police officer he wasn’t racing, and the officer didn’t find any indication that the 310-pound defensive tackle had been imbibing, per the Journal-Constitution.
The accident took place after the Bulldogs had honoured their two consecutive national titles with a procession and celebration at Sanford Stadium. The medical examiner ruled that Willock was deceased when he arrived. He was 20. LeCroy was rushed to the hospital, but he didn’t make it.
According to police reports, LeCroy’s Ford “failed to navigate a left turn, resulting in the car hitting the barrier with its front passenger wheel and exiting the highway on the west side.”
After severing a Georgia Power post and another utility pole in half, the Vehicle then crashed into a tree, damaging the rear passenger quarter panel. The car then spun anticlockwise and crashed into another tree on the side where LeCroy and Willock were seated.
Warren McClendon, an offensive tackle who recently declared his intention to join the NFL draught, was injured slightly. Victoria Bowles, a member of the Georgia football crew, sustained more severe injuries and was taken to the hospital.
Officials from the Georgia sports department have stated that LeCroy was only permitted to use the Vehicle for marketing purposes.