When the Philadelphia Eagles selected defensive tackle Jalen Carter with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft it came with a lot of baggage. The Eagles, after doing their due diligence, moved beyond the legal matters and focused on the on-field player. Since the draft some new details have emerged about the deadly January crash that claimed lives of University of Georgia football player Devin Willock and staffer Chandler LeCroy.
Carter, who signed his 4-year/$21.806 fully guaranteed rookie contract on May 4, has been named as part of a lawsuit seeking $40MM in damages, including $10MM from Carter. Dave Willock, Devin Willock’s father, filed the suit in Gwinnett County, GA court earlier this week.
The estate of Chandler LeCroy was also named in the suit as the driver of the vehicle involved in the crash. The University of Georgia Athletic Association has also been named a defendant in the suit.
“Defendants LeCroy’s and Carter’s conduct shows reckless, willful, wanton, and consciously indifferent conduct to the consequences in the collision resulting in the death of Devin Willock,” the suit states.
Willock, a Northern New Jersey native, and LeCroy were killed when the SUV LeCroy was driving crashed. LeCroy’s SUV was involved in what Athens-Clarke County, GA law enforcement officials said was illegal street racing with another SUV driven by Carter. LeCroy’s SUV reached speeds of 104-MPH before the deadly accident. It should be noted, LeCroy’s blood alcohol content was .197, nearly two-times the Georgia limit.
Georgia law enforcement believes “alcohol impairment, racing, reckless driving, and speed were significant contributing factors to the crash.”
An hour or so later it was revealed that Carter was the driver of the other SUV.
He pled “no contest” to misdemeanor charges of racing and reckless driving. Carter’s “no contest” plea included a $1,000 fine, 50-hours of community service, a defensive driving course, and 12-months probation. He did not receive any jail time.
It was later revealed through court documents that Carter was driving the SUV while on a suspended license.
Following the March court date where Carter pled “no contest,” his attorney Kim Stephens said Carter was “happy and relieved to get this matter behind him, so now he can do what he needs to do for the NFL Draft.” Stephens added that Carter “continues to grieve for the loss of his friends.”
The University of Georgia Athletic Association is already pushing back on the lawsuit claimingWillock’s attorney’s have “failed to provide any factual basis for their claims against the Athletic Association.” Representatives of Chandler LeCroy’s estate and Carter’s agent have not made any public statements on the matter.