Thursday, July 18, 2024

UGA says use of vehicle in crash that killed football player, staffer was ‘unauthorized’


CNN  — 

The use of a vehicle that wrecked while carrying four members of the University of Georgia football program – two of whom died in the crash – was “unauthorized,” according to a statement from the University of Georgia Athletic Association.

The Ford Expedition was one of several cars that were leased by the Athletic department for use during recruiting activities “only,” and personal use was “strictly prohibited,” according to the statement.

“Policies and expectations that were well understood by athletics staff dictated that such rental vehicles were to be turned in at the immediate conclusion of recruiting duties,” the statement read. “The continued use of the leased car by our staff members after their recruiting duties ended earlier that evening was unauthorized.”

Devin Willock and Chandler LeCroy died in the crash. Willock, a redshirt sophomore from New Milford, New Jersey, played on the offensive line in all 15 of the team’s games this past season. LeCroy was a football recruiting analyst for the team, according to her LinkedIn.

The crash occurred early January 15, just hours after the team celebrated its latest national championship victory.

CNN previously reported that shortly before 3 a.m., LeCroy, 24, was driving with Willock, 20, and two other passengers near the UGA campus in Athens when the vehicle went off the road and barreled into two power poles and several trees, the Athens-Clarke County Police Department said in a news release.

Willock was ejected from the vehicle and died on the scene, and LeCroy died after being taken to a hospital, police said.

“We are continuing to cooperate fully with investigators. Above all, our thoughts and prayers remain with the families and friends of those we lost and those who were injured in this tragic accident,” the statement read.

The vehicle was exceeding the speed limit of 40 mph before it hit a curb and left the roadway, according to the crash report from the Athens-Clarke County Police Department released Tuesday.

The two other people in the vehicle, a football player and a member of the football staff, were injured.

CNN’s Wayne Sterling contributed to this report.