Jalen Carter Arrested in Connection with Fatal Car Crash That Killed Two UGA Football Players

Former University of Georgia star and NFL draft prospect Jalen Carter turned himself in to authorities Wednesday night after an arrest warrant was issued for him in connection with the fatal car crash that killed two members of the Bulldogs football program in January.[0]

Athens-Clarke County police said Wednesday that alcohol impairment, racing, reckless driving and speed were significant contributing factors to the crash.[1] The tragic accident caused the deaths of both LeCroy, aged 24, and Willock, aged 20, an offensive lineman from Georgia.[0]

Carter’s statement released Wednesday in response to the arrest warrant included a declaration of innocence.[2] “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,” he wrote.[0]

The investigation found that LeCroy, driving a 2021 Ford Expedition, and Carter, driving a 2021 Jeep Trackhawk, “were operating their vehicles in a manner consistent with racing shortly after leaving the downtown Athens area at about 2:30 a.m.”[1] 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 outdistance each other.”[3]

Carter was booked into Athens-Clarke County Jail in Georgia at 11:33 p.m.[4] On Wednesday, $4,000 in bonds were released at 11:49 p.m.[5] He is facing misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and racing.[5]

When Carter declared for the 2023 NFL draft shortly after Georgia’s 65-7 win over TCU in the CFP national championship game, he was scheduled to hold a press conference at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis at 10:30 a.m.[6] On Wednesday.[7] NFL senior vice president of football and international communications Michael Signora told media assembled at Carter's assigned podium that Carter would not be speaking at the event on On Wednesday.[8][7]

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart released a statement in response to the charges against Carter. “The charges announced today are deeply concerning, especially as we are still struggling to cope with the devastating loss of two beloved members of our community,” Smart said. “We will continue to cooperate fully with the authorities while supporting these families and assessing what we can learn from this horrible tragedy.[2]

0. “Former Georgia football standout Jalen Carter turns himself in to authorities, released shortly after” WJCL News Savannah, 2 Mar. 2023, https://www.wjcl.com/article/former-georgia-football-standout-jalen-carter-turns-himself-in-to-authorities-released-shortly-after/43155787

1. “Former Georgia player Jalen Carter booked, released on charges related to fatal car crash” 247Sports, 2 Mar. 2023, https://247sports.com/college/georgia/Article/Former-Georgia-player-Jalen-Carter-booked-released-on-charges-related-to-fatal-car-crash-205582085/

2. “Jalen Carter releases statement on arrest warrant for racing” NBC Sports, 2 Mar. 2023, https://www.nbcsports.com/chicago/bears/jalen-carter-releases-statement-arrest-warrant-racing

3. “Police allege UGA staffer had twice legal alcohol limit in system and was going 100+ mph in crash” 11Alive.com WXIA, 1 Mar. 2023, https://www.11alive.com/article/sports/college/georgia-bulldogs/uga-crash-chandler-lecroy-police-allege-alcohol-speeding/85-ec9d489f-1006-4605-bfa5-7fd9224e2bee

4. “Jalen Carter was booked and released on Wednesday night – ProFootballTalk” NBC Sports, 2 Mar. 2023, https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2023/03/02/jalen-carter-was-booked-and-released-on-wednesday-night/

5. “NFL draft prospect Jalen Carter turns himself in on arrest warrant in connection to fatal crash” USA TODAY, 2 Mar. 2023, https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/draft/2023/03/02/jalen-carter-nfl-draft-prospect-turns-himself-arrest-warrant/11373912002

6. “Alcohol, racing ‘significant factors' in fatal crash, arrest warrants secured for Jalen Carter” Red and Black, 1 Mar. 2023, https://www.redandblack.com/uganews/alcohol-racing-significant-factors-in-fatal-crash-arrest-warrants-secured-for-jalen-carter/article_a7a5a742-b844-11ed-b309-ffee6979b4a9.html

7. “UGA football: Jalen Carter faced a speeding charge last September.” Online Athens, 1 Mar. 2023, https://www.onlineathens.com/story/sports/college/bulldogs-extra/2023/03/01/uga-football-jalen-carter-speeding-charge/69960342007/

8. “Top draft prospect Jalen Carter booked and released for reckless driving, racing in connection with fatal crash” NFL.com, 1 Mar. 2023, https://www.nfl.com/news/top-draft-prospect-jalen-carter-subject-of-arrest-warrants-for-reckless-driving-

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