July 14, 2024

University of Georgia football head coach Kirby Smart has released a statement to Channel 2 Action News after police announced charges against former star Jalen Carter.

Police have charged Carter with reckless driving and racing in connection to a Jan. 15 crash that killed teammate Devin Willock and football recruiting staffer Chandler LeCroy.

“The charges announced today are deeply concerning, especially as we are still struggling to cope with the devastating loss of two beloved members of our community. We will continue to cooperate fully with the authorities while supporting these families and assessing what we can learn from this horrible tragedy,” Smart wrote.

“This morning I received a telephone call from the Athens Georgia police department informing me that two misdemeanor warrants have been issued against me for reckless driving and racing. Numerous media reports also have circulated this morning containing inaccurate information concerning the tragic events of January 15, 2023.

It is my intention to return to Athens to answer the misdemeanor charges against me and to make certain that the complete and accurate truth is presented. There is no question in my mind that when all of the facts are known that I will be fully exonerated of any criminal wrongdoing.”

The crash happened Jan. 15 on Barnett Shoals Road in Athens, just hours after UGA celebrated their second consecutive championship with a parade in Athens.Georgia football player made young fan smile hours before dying in car crash

On Wednesday, police announced they have determined that racing, reckless driving, speed and alcohol impairment contributed to the crash.

Police say LeCroy, who was driving in a 2021 Ford Expedition, and Carter, who driving in a 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, were racing before the deadly crash.

Police determined that LeCroy’s vehicle reached speeds up to 104 mph. It is unclear how fast Carter was driving before the crash.

Athens-Clarke police confirmed they have been in contact with Carter’s agent and representatives.

“We have been in contact with [Carter’s] representatives, and they were making arrangements for him to turn himself in.”

The spokesperson said he didn’t know when he expected Carter to turn himself in.

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