Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter has been projected as one of the top players in the 2023 NFL Draft all season, and a possible candidate for No. 1 overall pick. However, that could all change with news breaking on Wednesday morning that a warrant is out for Carter’s arrest in Athens stemming for his role in a January car accident which left a Georgia staffer and player dead, with two others injured.
Details are still emerging about Carter’s involvement, and it should be made very clear that the only information we have right now stems from police press releases, and a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
What we know about the car accident
On the morning of January 15, 2023 a 2021 Ford Expedition being driven by Georgia staffer Chandler LeCroy crashed in Athens-Clarke County. The crash resulted in the death of LeCroy and Georgia player Devin Willock. Georgia player Warren McClendon and recruiting staff member Victoria Bowles were also injured in the accident.
Police had reason to believe Carter was present at the scene as well and brought him in for questioning. Carter told investigators he was a nearly a mile behind the car when it crashed and denied that he was racing LeCroy’s car at the time of the accident, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Initially the crash was recorded as a single-vehicle accident caused by LaCroy driving too fast, but the investigation has since broadened, and now includes Carter himself.
What are police saying?
According to a press release on Wednesday morning Athens Police issued a warrant for Carter’s arrest stemming from the accident, alleging that the player was present at the time of the accident and that evidence indicates that he was racing LeCroy’s car.
“The investigation found that Chandler LeCroy, driver of the 2021 Ford Expedition, and Jalen Carter, driver of a 2021 Jeep Trackhawk, were operating their vehicles in a manner consistent with racing shortly after leaving the downtown Athens area at 2:30 A.M. The evidence demonstrated that both vehicles switched between lanes, drove in the center turn lane, drove in opposite lanes of travel, overtook other motorists, and drove at high rates of speed, in an apparent attempt to outdistance each other. Evidence indicated that shortly before the crash the Expedition was traveling at about 104 miles per hour.”
The statement went on to add that LeCroy’s blood alcohol concentration was .197 at the time of the accident, and that crash investigators found that alcohol impairment, racing, reckless driving, and speed caused the accident.
What happens now?
Carter’s case has been given to the Solicitor General’s Office. A spokesperson for Athens-Clarke County confirmed to Seth Emerson of The Athletic that Carter is facing a misdemeanor charge for his involvement in the crash, though it’s important to note that charges could change depending on the involvement of the district attorney’s office.
Carter was scheduled to appear at the NFL Scouting Combine at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, but according to our own Jared Muller in Indianapolis, he has not yet made an appearance and the podium he was scheduled to speak at is empty.
It was later reported that Carter would no longer participate in the combine and has left Indianapolis, though the NFL is currently saying he’s still at the combine, but in medical testing.
We will have more on this developing story as information becomes available.