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

The University of Georgia celebrated its football team’s second consecutive  national championship with a victory parade this past Saturday evening. Hours later, according to a statement from the UGA Athletic Association, at about 2:45 a. m. Sunday morning, football player Devin Willock and staff member Chandler LeCroy were killed in a single car crash. The fatal crash came after a day of celebration as UGA players, coaches and fans packed into Sanford Stadium.

The Athens-Clarke County Police Department reported that Willock, 20, and LeCroy, 24, “were among four people in the vehicle at the time of the crash,” which occurred near the UGA campus in Athens. It is alleged that LeCroy was driving a 2021 Ford Expedition. The vehicle “left the road and struck two power poles and several trees,” as stated by the police. “Willock died on scene and LeCroy died later after being taken to a hospital,” police said. No information regarding the cause of the crash or the loss of control of the vehicle is provided.

As reported, The Athens Banner-Herald stated that University of Georgia starting offensive tackle identified as 21-year-old Warren McClendon was a passenger in the car and suffered minor injuries. As reported, McClendon received stitches to the forehead as a result of the accident. A 26-year-old female passenger, affiliated with the football program but not identified in the article, suffered serious injuries in the crash.

The UGA Athletics Association paid tribute to Willock and LeCroy, stating, in part, “Devin and Chandler were two special people who meant so much to the University of Georgia, our football program and our athletic department.” The Association statement asked “everyone keep their families in your prayers during this very difficult time.”

As reported, according to Georgia’s football roster, Willock was a redshirt sophomore from New Milford, New Jersey and played on the offensive line in all 15 of the team’s games this year. Laudatory comments about Devin and Chandler were prominent.

Kirby Smart, University of Georgia had football coach stated: “Devin was an outstanding young man in every way. He was always smiling, was a great teammate and a joy to coach. Chandler was a valuable member of our football staff and brought an incredible attitude and energy every single day. We grieve with their families for this tragic loss and will support them in every way possible,”

Personal narratives offered added intensity to the tragedy. As indicated in the article, “At a Texas Roadhouse in Athens on Saturday, a 7-year-old Georgia fan named Camdyn Gonzales met Willock and took a photo together. The 6-foot-7-inch, 335-pound lineman gave the boy a fistbump and let him wear his enormous 2021 national championship ring.”

Sam Kramer, the youngster’s grandfather, wrote in a tweet: “Special thank u to @DevinWillock for taking time for my grandson when he didn’t have to. U went out of ur way to make him feel special and U made his day!! Good luck next year! Go Dawgs!”

D & B Staff

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