University of Georgia football star and NFL prospect Jalen Carter was released on bond after being charged with two misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and racing in connection with a fatal University of Georgia (UGA) crash.
The accident occurred on January 15, hours after the parade and ceremony at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia, in celebration of UGA’s back-to-back national championships.
The fatal crash claimed the lives of Jalen Carter’s teammate, offensive lineman Devin Willock, and UGA recruiting staffer Chandler LeCroy.
Jalen Carter was booked for reckless driving and racing on highways and streets at 11:33 pm EST on Wednesday (March 1).
According to online records, he was released at 11:49 pm, the same night, after posting a $4000 bond.
Jalen Carter was a star defensive tackle for the Georgia Bulldogs, and he is now a top prospect in next month’s NFL Draft.
He was scheduled to speak to reporters on Wednesday at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, but he posted on social media Wednesday afternoon that he was going back to Athens, Georgia to “answer the misdemeanor charges against me and to make certain that the complete and accurate truth is presented.”
He also said in a statement that he expects to be “fully exonerated of any criminal wrongdoing.”
The police have obtained surveillance video footage from multiple downtown locations in Athens showing three vehicles leaving an area at the same time: Carter’s 2021 Jeep Trackhawk, LeCroy’s 2021 Ford Expedition, and a 2019 Charger driven by Bulldogs linebacker Jamone Dumas-Johnson.
Police released details of the investigation on Wednesday, citing evidence that Carter and LeCroy were “operating their vehicles in a manner consistent with racing.”
The police released the following statement:
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 out distance each other.
According to police investigators, 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 Ford struck two utility poles, slicing them in half, and then hit a tree on the rear passenger quarter panel.
The vehicle spun clockwise from the impact and slammed into another tree on the driver’s side, where LeCroy and Willock were sitting.
Willock was pronounced dead at the scene, and LeCroy was taken to the hospital, but she died shortly after.
According to the investigation, LeCroy was traveling about 104 mph shortly before the crash.
A toxicology report revealed that LeCroy’s blood alcohol concentration was .197, more than twice the legal limit in the state of Georgia, at the time of the crash, according to police.
Bulldogs offensive lineman Warren McClendon, who was in the car with LeCroy and Willock, sustained minor injuries.
He had just announced plans to enter the NFL Draft.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Carter was at the scene of the crash, but he gave shifting accounts of the wreck to police.
Initially, he told police that he heard the crash from a nearby apartment complex, and he later told an officer he had been driving behind and beside LeCroy’s SUV.
He denied racing to one of the officers.
The same officer said he observed no signs that Carter had been drinking.
Reportedly, Carter will continue to participate in NFL combine activities.
An arraignment hearing is set for April 18.