After the University of Georgia won a national championship, police are investigating a fatal one-car crash early Sunday that killed football player Devin Willock and staffers money hours after the Bulldogs celebrated with fans, authorities said. Deleroy dies.
Shortly before 3 a.m. Sunday, LeCroy, 24, was driving with Willock, 20, and two other passengers near the UGA campus in Athens when the vehicle veered off the road and struck two utility poles and several trees, Athens-Clark County the police department said in a news release.
Willock died at the scene and LeCroy died at the hospital, police said. According to her LinkedIn, LeCroy is a football recruiting analyst for UGA.
Two passengers associated with the football team were also injured in the crash. Georgia forward Warren McClendon, 21, suffered minor injuries and Victoria Powers, 26, was seriously injured, according to police.
McClendon started the season at right tackle for Georgia, Declared for the NFL draft early SaturdayHis father, Warren McClendon Sr., told the Athens Standard Herald that he needed stitches on his forehead but was “in good condition.”
Hours after the crash, Sanford Stadium and the surrounding streets were filled with ecstatic fans who had come to celebrate the Bulldogs’ second straight national title. But by the next morning, they joined the team mourning the sudden loss of Willock and LeCroy.
Fan Daniel DeWitt attended Saturday’s victory parade and told CNN Willock was “upbeat and happy” as the team passed throngs of red and black supporters.
“Heartbreaking after a week of celebration. Yesterday’s parade, seeing this player and then finding out he lost his life early this morning, the entire Bulldogs Nation was overwhelmed,” DeWitt said.
Photos of the crash scene taken by nearby residents showed a wooden utility pole snapped in half and the frame of a car crushed on top of an apartment building.
“The car was dented like a tin can,” Cecily Pangborn, a resident of the apartment complex, told CNN. She described hearing a loud bang as the crash occurred and her power went out.
Police said the accident investigation is still ongoing. Investigators have asked anyone with information to contact authorities.
Two UGA team members are remembered by several university leaders as dynamic and valuable presence in the football program.
“Devin was an outstanding young man in every way. He was always smiling, a great teammate and a joy to coach,” head coach Kirby Smart said in a statement Sunday.
“Chandler was an invaluable member of our football team and brought an incredible attitude and energy every day,” the coach said.
“These two special people mean the world to our football program and athletic department,” UGA athletic director Josh Brooks said in an interview. statement“We are working with our medical staff and mental health and performance teams to ensure our staff and student-athletes have all the support they need during this extremely difficult time.”
Willock is a redshirt sophomore from New Milford, N.J., who joined the team as a freshman in 2020, according to UGA’s football roster. He has appeared on the offensive line in all 15 of the team’s games this year.
The player spent Saturday with the fans, basking in the joy of last week’s title win. One fan in particular had a great time with Willock in the hours before his death.
Willock was spotted by the young fan as he left the Texas Roadhouse restaurant in Athens with 7-year-old star Camdyn Gonzales on Saturday.
The player gave Camdin a fistful to try on his massive 2021 championship ring.
“He was very humble and grateful that we knew who he was and wanted to talk to him,” said Camdin’s grandfather Sam Kramer, adding that Willock looked “full of life and very happy.”
DeWitt, a fan who saw Willock in Saturday’s parade, told CNN he has a 2021 UGA Championship tattoo and plans to get a matching one for this season’s win. This time, he said, it will feature Willock’s number 77.