The University of Georgia and the college football world are still grieving following a fatal crash early Sunday morning that killed Bulldogs offensive lineman Devin Willock and recruiting staffer Chandler LeCroy.
Two other passengers in the 2021 Ford Expedition are recovering from their injuries from the one-car accident that occurred roughly 12 hours after the school held a championship parade and ceremony at Sanford Stadium celebrating Georgia’s 65-7 victory over TCU in the national title game on Jan. 9.
The Athens-Clarke County police department is still investigating the crash. Here are the latest updates:
Who was Devin Willock?
Willock, a 6-foot-7, 335-pound offensive lineman, was a 20-year-old redshirt sophomore from New Milford, New Jersey. He played in all 15 games for Georgia this season, including the national championship game, and made two starts.
“He was probably the single nicest kid I’ve ever coached,” said John Whitehead, Willock’s high school coach at Paramus Catholic. “He’s just a great kid. I know a lot of coaches say that. All those clichés, but he was as closest to being perfect as I’ve ever had. Wouldn’t hurt a fly. All the coaches liked him. All the teachers liked him.”
“He was a gentle giant,” said Bill Wilde, who coached Willock at New Milford High School before he transferred to Paramus Catholic. “We knew he was destined for great things.”
A glimpse into Willock, the person, came just after the national championship celebration, when a Bulldogs fan recognized him outside a local steakhouse and asked for a picture with his grandson.
Sam Kramer of White, Ga., posted a tweet with several photos later that night and Willock retweeted it with three hearts.
Willock’s parents are scheduled to appear outside an Athens courthouse on Thursday at a press conference called where legal action to be taken will be discussed.
Who was Chandler LeCroy?
LeCroy, 24, was a recruiting analyst for the Georgia football team and a “Double Dawg,” with a bachelor’s degree in sports management and a masters degree in sport management and policy.
She was a graduate of Stephens County High School in Toccoa, Georgia.
What we know about the crash
The accident occurred Jan. 15 at about 2:45 a.m. A crash report released by Athens-Clarke County police Tuesday afternoon determined that excessive speed was a contributing factor in the crash. The posted speed was 40 miles per hour.
The vehicle driven by LeCroy struck a curb with its right front tire and left the road, hitting a pair of utility poles and cutting the vehicle in half, according to the crash report.
LeCroy was taken by EMS to a local hospital where she died. Willock, riding in the driver’s side passenger seat, died at the scene of his injuries.
Who else was injured?
Two other members of the Georgia football program were in the car at the time of the accident.
Warren McClendon, Georgia’s starting right tackle for much of the past three seasons, was in the front passenger seat of the vehicle. He needed a couple of stitches on his forehead, according to his father.
McClendon, a first-team All-SEC selection, had just declared for the NFL draft on Saturday.
Another recruiting staffer, Victoria “Tory” Bowles, 26, was a passenger in the rear seat of the vehicle. She was hospitalized with serious injuries and was in stable condition at Piedmont Athens Regional Hospital as of Tuesday night.
Willock and Bowles were not wearing seat belts, according to the crash report.
Coach Kirby Smart’s reaction
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart released a statement on social mediai on behalf of the football program:
“We are all heartbroken and devastated with the loss of Devin Willock and Chandler LeCroy. Devin was an outstanding young man in every way. He was always smiling, was a great teammate and a joy to coach. Chandler was a valuable member of our football staff and brought an incredible attitude and energy every single day.”