Police on Monday identified the two injured in One car accident killed University of Georgia offensive lineman Devin Willock and faculty member Chandler Lecroy early Sunday, just hours after the team celebrated winning the national championship.
Shortly before 3 a.m. Sunday, Lecroi, 24, was driving with Willock, 20, and two other passengers near the UGA campus in Athens when the vehicle ran off the road, crashing into two power poles and several trees, the Athens-Clark County Police department said. In a press release.
Police said Willock was ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene and Lecroix died after being taken to hospital.
According to Lieutenant Sean Barnett, “none of the other passengers were expelled.”
Willock, a redshirt sophomore from New Milford, NJ, joined the team as a freshman in 2020 and played offensive line in all 15 of the team’s games this past season. LeCroy was a football recruiting analyst for UGA, according to her linkedin.
Police said the two injured in the incident were Georgia shooter Warren McClendon, who sustained minor injuries, and Victoria Bowles, 26, who sustained serious injuries.
McClendon started at right tackle for Georgia this season and He declared for the NFL Draft earlier Saturday. His father, Warren McClendon Sr., told L.L.C Athena Banner Herald He needed stitches on his forehead but he was “fine”.
The incident came hours after Sanford Stadium and the surrounding streets were filled with ecstatic fans who had come to celebrate with the Bulldogs. Second consecutive national championship. But by the next morning, they’ve joined the team mourning the sudden loss of Willock and LeCroy.
Willock’s aunt and uncle, Cecily and Norral Stout, said their nephew was well-liked and did well at school.
“He was doing very well. He was very well liked by all his peers, all the teachers and all the coaches,” said Cecily Stoute. “Devin is always smiling, no matter what. Devin has a smile on his face and has been doing well in academics. He was doing a very good job. He was a good student, a very good student, and a very good person.”
It is a sadly familiar family tragedy. Willock’s older brother, Jonathan Wheatley, died in 2009 at the age of 20 from injuries sustained in a similar car accident, Cecily Stout said.
“He’s gone,” said Uncle Willock, “too early for us.”
The accident occurred behind a curved section of Barnett Shoals Road, where the speed limit is 40 mph. There is a sidewalk, but no curb on the outer edge of the road.
The car veered off the road and hit two electricity poles, continued its descent over a hill and hit several trees and branches before reaching the edge of the apartment complex.
Crash site photos taken by nearby residents show an electric pole snapped in half and a car tire slammed onto an apartment building in Shoals Creek, about two miles from the UGA campus.
“That car dented like a tin can,” Cecily Pangburn, a resident of the apartment complex, told CNN. She described hearing a loud bang when the crash occurred, followed by a loss of her power.
Another resident, Jonathan D’Souza, said he was the first person to respond to the crash site. He told CNN he was watching television when he felt the ground shake and heard what sounded like gunshots outside his apartment.
When D’Souza went outside to see what had happened, he said it was pitch black because the electricity went out. He said it wasn’t until he saw sparks flying from power lines dangling in the middle of the street that he could see a mangled car crashed into his neighbor’s house, he said.
D’Souza said he ran to the car and saw Willock lying face down next to the car. D’Souza said he started yelling at the unresponsive Willock, asking if he was okay.
“It was the most helpless feeling because you wish you could save him, but you know he’s already gone,” D’Souza said.
Police said the investigation into the incident is continuing. Investigators asked anyone with information to contact authorities.
UGA team members were remembered from before Many university leaders As a vital and valuable presence in the football program.
Always smiling, he was a wonderful teammate and a joy to coach,” said football coach Kirby Smart in a statement Sunday. “Chandler was a valuable member of our football team, bringing incredible style and energy every day. .”
said Josh Brooks, UGA’s director of athletics statment. “We are working with our medical staff and the mental health and performance team to ensure our staff and student-athletes have all the support they need during this very difficult time.”
Willock spent Saturday with the fans, enjoying the joy of last week’s championship win. One fan in particular got to spend some quality time with Willock in the hours leading up to his death.
Wheelock met 7-year-old Camden Gonzales of Starstruck after the young fan spotted Wheelock as he was leaving the Texas Roadhouse restaurant in Athens on Saturday.
The player gave Camden a fist bump and let the boy try the massive 2021 championship circuit.
“He was so humble and appreciative because we knew who he was and wanted to talk to him,” said Sam Kramer, Camden’s grandfather, adding that Willock seemed “full of life and just happy”.
A local UGA fan, Daniel DeWitt, attended the victory parade Saturday and told CNN that Willock was “upbeat and happy” as the team passed crowds of fans dressed in red and black.
“It’s sad to come on a festive week. Yesterday, for the sake of seeing this player and then coming to find out he lost his life early this morning, the whole Bulldog nation is at a loss,” DeWitt said.
DeWitt told CNN that he has a 2021 UGA championship tattoo and plans to get a matching tattoo for a win this season. This time, he said, it will contain Willock’s number, 77.
“Typical food guru. Problem solver. Devoted beer practitioner. Professional reader. Baconaholic.”