In a traffic crash in January, Jalen Carter allegedly killed a teammate and a recruiting staffer for the University of Georgia, according to an arrest warrant issued Wednesday.
The Athens-Clarke County Police Department has charged the Georgia defensive lineman with reckless driving and racing, following an investigation into allegations that he participated in a street race on Jan. 15 with Chandler LeCroy. Unfortunately, the Ford Expedition driven by LeCroy left the road at high speed and collided with two telephone poles, resulting in fatalities for both LeCroy and Georgia staffer Devin Willock. Two other people were injured in the crash, which police believe was caused by excessive speed.
After the warrant was issued, Carter left the NFL combine and returned to Athens where he was arrested and released after posting bond.
From the Athens-Clark Country Police
0 mph in a 45 mph zone and the Jeep was traveling at approximately 95 mph.”According to the investigation, Chandler LeCroy, who drove a Ford Expedition in 2021, and Jalen Carter, who drove a Jeep Trackhawk also in 2021, were engaging in racing behavior after leaving downtown Athens around 2:30 am. The evidence revealed that both vehicles frequently switched lanes, used the center turn lane for driving purposes, traveled opposite lanes of traffic while overtaking other drivers at high speeds to outpace one another. Based on records shortly before crashing their cars; it shows that LeCroy’s Expedition was moving at roughly half the speed limit (50mph lower) whereas Carter’s Jeep had been moving at an estimated rate of about ninety-five miles per hour.
As reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Carter departed from the crash site before emergency responders arrived. When questioned about the incident by an Athens police officer upon his return approximately 90 minutes later, he provided varying versions of events regarding whether or not he had been racing the car that crashed. Georgia director of player support and operations Bryant Gantt requested for Carter to be summoned back to the accident site after arriving there himself and being contacted by law enforcement officials.
According to Georgia officials, LeCroy was unauthorized to drive the Expedition she was driving, since it was rented by the university. In January, Georgia officials charged linebacker Jamon Dumas-Johnson with reckless driving. He was questioned at the scene of the crash as well.
“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,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said in a statement. “We will continue to cooperate fully with the authorities and support these families as we assess what we can learn from this horrible tragedy.”
As Carter was participating in the NFL combine Wednesday, the arrest warrant was announced. As part of his combine participation, Carter was scheduled to speak with reporters, but that appearance has been canceled as the NFL said he is still undergoing medical tests and cannot speak.
Due to the warrants, Carter said he would return to Athens Wednesday afternoon and had no doubt he would be “fully exonerated of any criminal wrongdoing.” Just after 11:30 p.m. ET Wednesday evening, he was booked into the Athens-Clarke County Jail and released 16 minutes later.