By Joe Johnson
University of Georgia star football player Jalen Carter has responded to news that he has been charged in connection with the street racing related deaths of a teammate and a football program staffer.
On the night of Jan. 15, police said, Carter was racing a 2021 Jeep Trackhawk against a 2021 Ford Expedition driven by Chandler LeCroy, a 24-year-old recruitment analyst for UGA’s football program.
The vehicles were said by police to have reached speeds of over 100 mph on Barnett Shoals Road before LeCroy lost control of the SUV, causing it to crash into utility poles and trees before coming to a rest against a building at Shoal Creek apartments.
Willock, a teammate of Carter’s, was a passenger in the Expedition and he was killed instantly; LeCroy died at the hospital.
Police said that an investigation determined that speed and alcohol were "significant" contributing factors in the wreck. Police said that LeCroy had a blood alcohol concentration of .197 percent, or more than twice the legal limit allowed for driving, and at one point she drove the SUV in excess of 100 mph.
As a result of the investigation’s findings, police obtained warrants charging Carter with reckless driving and racing.
Carter was a defensive lineman on UGA’s National Championship team and is expected to be a first-round selection in this year's NFL draft; Willock was an offensive lineman who also was believed to have been a top draft prospect.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Carter said, “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."