Police in Georgia have secured arrest warrants for Jaylen Carter, a defensive tackle for the national champion Georgia Bulldogs and a projected first-round pick in the NFL Draft, linked to a January crash that killed two, including Carter’s former teammate.
Carter, 21, will be arrested for allegedly reckless driving and racing, according to an announcement Wednesday from the Athens-Clarke Police Department.
Authorities said that on Jan. 15, former University of Georgia offensive lineman Devin Wheelock and 24-year-old recruiting analyst Chandler LeCroy were killed after a collision that occurred about 2:30 a.m. on January 15th.
Police said Wednesday that Carter was behind the wheel of a 2021 Jeep Trackhawk when he raced LeCroy, who was driving a 2021 Ford Expedition.
“Evidence showed that both vehicles changed lanes, drove into the center turn lane, drove into opposing lanes of traffic, passed other drivers and drove at high rates of speed in an apparent attempt to pass each other,” police said. .
Just before the crash, the Expedition reached 104 mph, police said, and LeCroy’s blood-alcohol content was 0.197 “at the time of the crash.”
“Investigators determined that alcohol impairment, racing, reckless driving and speed were significant contributing factors to the crash,” police said.
The case will be handed over to the General Prosecutor’s Office, the police announced.
Carter could not immediately be reached Wednesday for comment.
Georgia Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart won his second straight national championship when he defeated Texas Christian University 65-7 in January.
Smart said in a statement Wednesday: “The charges announced today are deeply troubling, especially as we still struggle to come to terms with the devastating loss of two beloved members of our community.”
He added: “We will continue to co-operate fully with the authorities in supporting these families and assessing what we can learn from this horrific tragedy.”
The wreck happened less than two miles from campus. A few hours earlier, the Bulldogs held a parade through town and a ceremony at Sanford Stadium to celebrate their championship.
Authorities said other people were on the Mission with LeCroy at the time of the crash, including offensive lineman Warren McClendon, who had announced his intentions to enter the NFL draft. McClendon was wearing a shoulder and leg restraint while sitting in the right passenger seat, police said. He suffered only minor injuries.
Wheelock was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, police said.
Another member of the Georgia football staff, Victoria Bowles, was hospitalized with multiple, serious injuries. She was sitting in the back seat with Wheelock and was not wearing a seat belt, police said.
Police said the dispatch “failed to negotiate a left curve, causing the vehicle to strike the curb with the passenger tire and go off the road onto the west shoulder.”
The SUV hit a Georgia Power pole and another utility pole, snapping them in half, before hitting a tree in the rear passenger quarter. That sent the vehicle spinning clockwise before it struck another tree on the driver’s side — where both LeCroy and Willock were sitting, police said.
Juliette Arcodia contributed.