An arrest warrant has been issued for potential No. 1 NFL draft pick Jalen Carter for his alleged role in a January traffic crash that killed a teammate and a recruiting staffer for the University of Georgia.
The Georgia defensive lineman is wanted on a charge of reckless driving and racing by the Athens-Clarke County Police Department after an investigation found that Carter was allegedly street racing with Chandler LeCroy on Jan. 15. Both LeCroy, a Georgia staffer, and Georgia offensive lineman Devin Willock were killed when the Ford Expedition LeCroy was driving left the road at a high rate of speed and hit two telephone poles. Two other occupants of LeCroy’s vehicle were injured and police quickly determined that speed was a contributing factor in the crash.
From the Athens-Clarke County Police:
“The investigation found that Chandler LeCroy, driver of the 2021 Ford Expedition, and Jalen Carter, driver of a 2021 Jeep Trackhawk, were operating their vehicles in a manner consistent with racing shortly after leaving the downtown Athens area at about 2:30 a.m. The evidence demonstrated that both vehicles switched between lanes, drove in the center turn lane, drove in opposite lanes of travel, overtook other motorists and drove at high rates of speed in an apparent attempt to outdistance each other. Evidence indicated that shortly before the crash the Expedition was traveling at about 104 miles per hour. The toxicology report indicated that Leroy’s blood alcohol concentration was .197 at the time of the crash. Investigators determined that alcohol impairment, racing, reckless driving and speed were significant contributing factors to the crash.”
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Carter was at the scene of the crash and left before emergency personnel arrived. Per the report, “he gave shifting accounts of the wreck as an Athens police officer questioned him about whether he had been racing the car that crashed” after he returned to the crash scene approximately 90 minutes after it happened.
The AJC report notes that police were able to obtain surveillance video from city cameras along the route the vehicles traveled the night of the crash. The crash happened in the early morning hours after Georgia’s national championship celebration and players and members of the recruiting staff were last at a strip club in downtown Athens and heading for a Waffle House when the crash occurred.
The Expedition LeCroy was driving was rented by the university and Georgia officials have told the AJC that she was unauthorized to be driving the vehicle. Linebacker Jamon Dumas-Johnson was also questioned at the scene of the crash. He was charged last week for reckless driving in a separate January incident.
Carter is a potential No. 1 pick
Carter is widely seen as one of the best defensive players in the NFL draft and a possible No. 1 overall pick if the Chicago Bears don’t make a trade with a team seeking to draft a QB at No. 1 overall.
Carter has played a key role for Georgia as the Bulldogs have won back-to-back national titles. He had six sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss over the past two seasons. Carter dealt with a knee injury that caused him to miss time in 2022 but was still a focus of constant double-teams while he was on the field. He had 32 total tackles in 13 games as a junior a season ago.