- The first lawsuit filed by Willock’s family against the University of Georgia Athletic Association, Carter and LeCroy’s estate, among others, seeks $40 million in restitution for the death of their son.
- Former recruiting analyst Victoria “Tory” Bowles has also filed suit seeking to recoup damages after being severely injured in the crash.
As both sides gear up to begin the fact-finding process of discovery, more revelations will likely be revealed. Here is where those connected to the crash are now, a year later.
UGA Athletic Association
Since the crash, the football program has placed the blame squarely on LeCroy, who they say should have known to return the rental vehicle after her recruiting duties concluded that day.
In court filings, the athletic association’s attorney, Scott Bailey, has denied liability and argued that Bowles and Willock should have known LeCroy was intoxicated when they got into the SUV that night.
Since her death, LeCroy’s estate has faced lawsuits from both Bowles and the Willock family, who say LeCroy was negligent in racing Carter.
In court, the estate’s attorney, Babatunde Abdulrahman, has denied liability. He echoes the athletic association’s argument that Bowles and Willock were negligent. Abdulrahman also argues that LeCroy, an employee of the University of Georgia, is entitled to sovereign immunity — a law that prevents plaintiffs from suing state actors.
Attorneys for Bowles and the Willock family say the UGA athletic association ignored several warnings about LeCroy’s driving history. LeCroy received four speeding tickets in six years.
Still, the plaintiffs say, the athletic association entrusted LeCroy with the rental vehicle.
The crash left Bowles with severe injuries, including several broken ribs, a collapsed lung and damage to her spine, her attorneys say.
Represented by attorneys Rob Buck and Phil Boston, Bowles sued the UGA athletic association, Jalen Carter and Chandler LeCroy’s estate in July. Her attorneys allege that, despite what the athletic association has said publicly, personal use of the rental vehicles was allowed and they have produced text messages showing that recruiting analysts were allowed to take the rentals home overnight in the past.
The lawsuit seeks more than $170,000 to cover Bowles’ medical bills and lost wages, as well as other unspecified damages.
Less than a month after she filed suit, the university fired her, citing her refusal to participate in questioning over a potential NCAA violation related to activity mentioned in her lawsuit. On Thursday, her attorneys alleged in a court filing that UGA football coaches and staff regularly drank at recruiting events before driving athletic association rental vehicles.
The Willock Family
Devin Willock’s father, Dave Willock, filed a lawsuit in May. His Atlanta-based attorney, Terry Jackson, has taken an aggressive approach and has named several more defendants than Bowles — all of which he argues played a part in the circumstances leading up to the crash.
For instance, Jackson alleges that Ohio-based dealership Sarchione Auto Gallery was negligent in supplying Carter with the 700 horsepower Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk he was driving at the time of the crash. Carter acquired the car as part of a name, image and likeness deal. Sarchione has denied liability.
Willock’s lawsuit also alleges Toppers International Showbar — the Athens strip club where LeCroy, Willock, Bowles and Carter left shortly before the crash — overserved LeCroy and other UGA players and staff, some underage, with free alcohol. Toppers denies this claim.
Devin’s mother, Sharlene Willock, has since joined the lawsuit. Their son’s estate is represented by a third-party administrator.
Carter was arrested in March and charged with racing and reckless driving after a police investigation determined Carter was racing LeCroy shortly before the crash.
Carter pleaded no contest and was sentenced to a year of probation and community service. A month later, he was drafted to the NFL in the first round by the Philadelphia Eagles where he’s now on the shortlist for defensive rookie of the year.
His attorney Bill Cowsert, who is also a state senator representing the Athens area, has denied in court filings that Carter was racing LeCroy, arguing Carter is not responsible for the deaths and injuries suffered in the crash.
Warren McClendon Jr.
McClendon survived the crash with minor injuries. He later declared for the NFL draft. He was selected 174th overall in the fifth round by the Los Angeles Rams in April. He’s played in at least six games this season, according to NFL.com.