University of Georgia football player and staff member killed in crash after championship celebration

Devin Willock, an offensive lineman on the Bulldogs football staff on the University of Georgia, died in a automotive crash that killed one different particular person and injured two extra early Sunday morning, the college stated. The accident occurred simply hours after the Bulldogs celebrated their second consecutive nationwide championship win with a parade and ceremony.

Willock, 20, was pronounced useless on the scene. The driver of the automobile, 24-year-old Chandler LeCroy, was transported to a hospital the place she later died from her accidents. LeCroy was a football recruiting analyst for the Bulldogs who beforehand earned each her bachelor’s and grasp’s levels from the University of Georgia. Two different members of the football program have been additionally injured in the crash, which occurred in Athens, Georgia, south of the college campus. They weren’t instantly recognized, however the college stated each have been in steady situation.

ESPN reported that one other offensive lineman, Warren McLendon, was among the many injured. The junior introduced Saturday that he was getting into the NFL draft.

The single-vehicle wreck occurred at roughly 2:45 am, in keeping with a press release from the Athens-Clarke County police division.

The preliminary investigation discovered {that a} Ford Expedition “left the roadway, hanging two energy poles and a number of timber,” the assertion stated.

On Saturday, Georgia marked its 65-7 rout of TCU in the nationwide championship recreation with a parade by way of city and a ceremony at Sanford Stadium.

Georgia Celebration Football
Georgia football gamers acknowledge the group throughout a parade celebrating the Bulldog’s second consecutive NCAA school football nationwide championship, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Athens, Ga.

Alex Slitz / AP

The joyful temper rapidly turned to grief.

“We are all heartbroken and devastated with the loss of Devin Willock and Chandler LeCroy,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart stated. “Devin was an excellent younger man in each approach. He was all the time smiling, was an ideal teammate and a pleasure to educate.”

Smart stated LeCroy was “a precious member of our football staff and introduced an unbelievable perspective and power each single day. We grieve with their households for this tragic loss and will assist them in each approach doable.”

Police stated the wreck was nonetheless below investigation and they haven’t decided what components might have contributed to the crash. It could also be a number of days earlier than an accident report is issued.

Willock was a 6-foot-7, 335-pound redshirt sophomore from New Milford, New Jersey.

He performed extensively as a backup through the 2022 season and began at proper guard in Southeastern Conference victories over Tennessee and Kentucky.

With McClendon and offensive lineman Warren Ericson headed to the NFL draft, Willock probably would have been competing for a beginning place in 2023 because the Bulldogs go for a 3rd straight nationwide title.

Athletic director Josh Brooks stated Willock and LeCroy have been “two particular folks” who “meant the world to our football program and athletic division.”

“We will proceed to honor their reminiscence in the years to come back,” Brooks added.

“The whole Georgia household is devastated by the tragic loss of football student-athlete Devin Willock and football staff member Chandler LeCroy,” the University of Georgia Athletic Association stated in a assertionincluding, “The UGA Athletic Association will work with our medical staff in addition to our psychological well being and efficiency personnel to ensure we’re offering the perfect assist doable for our staff and student-athletes who’re processing this grief. We can present no additional remark at the moment however ask that everybody proceed to maintain these concerned in your prayers.”

Police stated a 21-year-old male passenger suffered minor accidents and a 26-year-old feminine passenger suffered critical accidents. “We will proceed to watch their standing with medical personnel,” the college stated.

Georgia additionally stated its psychological well being and efficiency personnel would “be sure that we’re offering the perfect assist doable for our staff and student-athletes who’re processing this grief.”

Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey, who spoke on the championship celebration, tweeted that Willock’s loss of life was “extremely unhappy information and we be part of in sharing our sympathies, prayers and assist.”

Another Georgia player, linebacker Nolan Smith, stated Willock’s loss of life “harm my coronary heart.”

“All I’ve to say is the GREAT ONES LEAVE (TOO) SOON,” Smith tweeted. “@DevinWillock I LOVE YOU FOREVER.”

Just a few hours earlier than his loss of life, Willock retweeted a submit that confirmed him taking time with a younger Georgia fan at what gave the impression to be a restaurant, even letting the teen put on his championship ring.

“Special thanks to @DevinWillock for taking time for my grandson when he did not should,” the tweet stated. “U went out of ur strategy to make him really feel particular and U made his day!! Good luck subsequent yr! Go Dawgs!”


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