ATHENS, Ga. – Athens-Clarke County police secured an arrest warrant for former University of Georgia star Jalen Carter in connection with a fatal crash that killed a teammate and football staff member.
Jail records show Carter checked himself into the Athens-Clarke County Jail, and was released a short time later.
Records show Carter was booked at 11:33 p.m. Wednesday and released at 11:49 p.m. that evening.
The death warrants charge Carter with reckless driving and racing, both misdemeanors.
The accident occurred Jan. 15 on Barnett Shoals Road in Athens, just hours after UGA celebrated its second straight championship with a parade in Athens.
Recruiting analyst Chandler LeCroy, 24, and UGA offensive lineman Devin Willock, 20, were both killed in the crash. Two other members of the football program, three-year offensive tackle Warren McClendon, 21, and Victoria Bowles, 26, were injured.
Police initially characterized the accident as one involving only one car.
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On Wednesday, police announced that they determined that racing, reckless driving, speed and the influence of alcohol contributed to the crash.
Police say LeCroy, who was driving a 2021 Ford Expedition, and Carter, who was driving a 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, were racing after they left downtown Athens around 2:30 a.m. that Sunday.
Police determined that LeCroy’s SUV reached speeds up to 104 mph. It is unclear how fast Carter was driving before the crash.
“The evidence showed that both vehicles were changing lanes, driving in the middle lane, driving in the opposite lane, overtaking other motorists and driving at a high rate of speed, in an apparent attempt to pass each other,” police said.
Police also released the toxicology report for LeCroy, which determined her blood alcohol concentration was 0.197 at the time of the crash. That’s more than twice the legal limit. It is unclear if any blood alcohol tests were performed on Carter.
Carter will be charged with reckless driving and racing. It is unclear if Carter will face additional charges.
Channel 2 Action News obtained surveillance video of downtown Athens the night after the crash, which appears to show Carter speeding away from a traffic light.
The car in the video is the same type of SUV, a 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, that he signed a deal with an Ohio dealer to market. The SUV has 707 horsepower and is capable of going from 0 to 60 miles per hour in less than four seconds.
Carter released a statement Wednesday afternoon on his social media accounts.
“This morning I received a call from the Athens Georgia Police Department informing me that two misdemeanor charges have been issued against me for reckless driving and racing. Numerous media reports have also circulated this morning containing inaccurate information regarding the tragic events of January 15, 2023. It is my intention to return to Athens to answer the charges against me of wrongdoing and to ensure that the full and accurate truth is presented There is no doubt in my mind that when all the facts are known I will be fully exonerated of any criminal offence.”
Carter is projected by many to be one of the top picks, if not the top pick, in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Channel 2 sports director Zach Klein is in Indianapolis, where Carter is participating in the NFL Combine. Carter was scheduled to speak Wednesday but did not.
Klein spoke with Carter’s teammate, Nolan Smith about the loss of his teammate and dear friend Devin Willock exclusively on Channel 2 Action News at 5 p.m. It’s the first time Smith has spoken publicly about his loss.
“He never did anything wrong… His brother walked like that,” Smith said through tears. “And I’m just sorry for his mother. No one should have to live like that. You know, no one should deserve to die like that.”
Willock would have celebrated his 21st birthday on Tuesday.
Athens-Clarke police confirmed they have been in contact with Carter’s agent and representatives.
“We have been in contact with (Carter’s) representatives and they made arrangements for him to turn himself in.”
The spokesman said he did not know when Carter is expected to turn himself in.
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