Jalen Carter: UGA football star surrenders on charges related to accident that killed teammate and staff member

(CNN) University of Georgia football player Jalen Carter turned himself in to police in Athens, Georgia, on Wednesday night on charges related to an accident that killed his teammate and a staff member. team hours after celebrating the Bulldogs’ national championship win.

Carter – who was projected as the first overall pick in the NFL Draft next month – went to Athens-Clarke County Jail for reckless driving and motor racing, prison records show. He was booked at 11:33 p.m. and released shortly after at 11:49 p.m.

Carter’s teammate Devin Willock and football team staffer Chandler LeCroy were killed in the Jan. 15 crash, which happened hours after the team took part in a parade on campus to celebrate his second consecutive national title.

LeCroy was driving a Ford SUV near campus with Willock and two other members of the football program also in the vehicle, police said. The SUV was traveling “about 104 miles per hour” before going off the road and hitting two utility poles and several trees, Athens-Clarke County Police said.

Authorities said Carter was driving a separate vehicle and he and LeCroy appeared to be running.

“Evidence showed that the two vehicles changed lanes, entered the center turn lane, entered opposing lanes of traffic, passed other motorists and drove at high speeds, in an apparent attempt to distance,” Athens-Clarke said the departmental police.

Carter responded to the allegations in a statement posted to his verified Twitter account on Wednesday, writing, “This morning I received a phone call from the Athens Georgia Police Department advising me that two arrest warrants have been issued. issued against me for reckless driving and racing.

“I intend to return to Athens to respond to the misdemeanor charges against me 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 act,” he wrote.

Carter spoke to police the night of the crash, according to Athens-Clarke County Police Lt. Shaun Barnett.

Georgia head football coach Kirby Smart said the charges against Carter are “deeply concerning, especially as we continue to struggle to come to terms with the devastating loss of two beloved members of our community. “.

“We will continue to cooperate fully with authorities while supporting these families and assessing what we can learn from this horrific tragedy,” Smart said in a written statement.

Investigators also said alcohol appeared to be a factor in the fatal crash.

Toxicology results show LeCroy, who was driving an unauthorized college vehicle at the time of the crash, had a blood alcohol level of .197, more than double the legal limit in Georgia, police said.

Willock was ejected and died at the scene and LeCroy died at a local hospital. The other two passengers in the vehicle were injured, officials said.

Carter, who will skip his senior season, was considered the No. 1 potential overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft in April. He was a key part of Georgia’s vaunted defense that allowed the fewest rushing yards per game (77.1) in 2022 and was named to multiple All-America teams.

CNN’s Nick Valencia and David Close contributed to this report.

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