Police: ‘Speed a factor’ in fatal crash involving Georgia football players, staff

Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@ajc.com

Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@ajc.com

ATHENS — Athens Clarke-County Police released its crash report on the fatal accident that took the lives of two members of the Georgia football team and injured two others. Some questions were answered therein, but many more were not.

Devin Willock, a redshirt sophomore offensive lineman from Paramus, N.J., was riding in the driver’s-side backseat of a 2021 Ford Expedition when it struck a curb and left Barnett Shoals Road early Sunday morning, the report said. He was ejected from the vehicle as it broke two utility poles in half and collided with several trees before coming to rest against an apartment building, according to police. Willock died at the scene.

The driver, Chandler Louise LeCroy of Toccoa and a member of the recruiting staff, had to be extricated from the vehicle. She was transported to Piedmont Athens Regional Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Warren McClendon, who also played on the offensive line for Georgia, was the front-seat passenger. He suffered a laceration in the middle of his head, according the report. He was also transported to the hospital by ambulance, and later released.

Behind him in the right rear of the full-size SUV was Victoria Bowles, who goes by “Tory.” She sustained “multiple injuries,” according to the report. Those injuries were described as “serious” by police in the initial report released last Sunday, but details were redacted in the crash report.

According to the police report, the two front-seat passengers, LeCroy and McClendon, were wearing lap and shoulder seat belts. The two back-seat passengers, Willock and Bowles, were not wearing seat belts. All airbags deployed.

The police report listed the owner as Ean Holding of Belleville, Ill. That is a company associated with Enterprise Car Rental. In the insurance section on the crash report, it is listed as self-insured.

The investigation determined that “excessive speed” and the initial contact made with the curb and a tree in the path of the spinning vehicle as “most harmful” for causing the fatal injuries. The posted speed limit in the area is 40 mph, but police did not say how fast the SUV may have been going when it crashed at 2:45 a.m. Sunday.

Emergency responders were dispatched at 2:48 a.m. and arrived at 2:55 a.m. A spokesperson for Athens-Clarke County police said there were not obvious indications that alcohol was involved in the crash.

Clarke County Coroner Sonny Wilson said routine toxicology testing was done on the driver. This is protocol when a driver is killed in a crash, Wilson said. Those toxicology findings are expected to take several weeks to be completed.

Autopsies were not conducted on the two killed in the crash, Wilson said.

The Expedition also struck a 2017 Ford Transit van in the parking lot of the apartment complex where it came to rest.

The crash remains under investigation, police said.

Funeral services for LeCroy, 24, will be held Wednesday in Toccoa. A memorial service for Willock is being planned but no details have been released. A team bus will transport Georgia players to the funeral.

Staff writer Alexis Stevens contributed to this report.