Thursday, February 9, 2023

Georgia OL Devin Willock killed in crash after title ceremony

Georgia offensive lineman Devin Willock and a recruiting staff member died after being hit by a car early Sunday, the school said, just hours after Bulldog Celebrated its second straight national championship with a parade and ceremony.

Two other members of the football program were injured in the accident in Athens, south of the Georgia campus. They were not immediately identified, but the school said both were in stable condition.

According to a statement from the Athens-Clarke County Police Department, a vehicle wreck occurred at approximately 2:45 p.m.

On Saturday, Georgia marked its 65–7 rout of TCU in the national championship game with a parade through town and a ceremony at Sanford Stadium.

How did the car accident happen?

Preliminary investigation found that a Ford Expedition “Two electric poles and many trees collided and left the roadS,” the statement said.

Willock, 20, was pronounced dead at the scene. Driver of the vehicle 24 years old chandler lecroywas taken to the hospital, where he died from his injuries.

LeCroy was a recruiting analyst for the Bulldogs.

“We are all heartbroken and devastated by the deaths of Devin Willock and Chandler LeCroy,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said in a statement. “Devin was an outstanding young man in every way. He always had a smile, was a great teammate and a pleasure to coach.”

Smart said that Lecroy “was a valuable member of our football staff and brought an incredible attitude and energy every day. We grieve with their families for this tragic loss and will support them in every way possible.”

Police said the wreckage is still being investigated and they have not determined what factors may have contributed to the accident. It may take several days for the report to be issued.

“The entire Georgia family is devastated by the tragic deaths of football student-athlete Devin Willock and football staff member Chandler LeCroy,” the school statement said. “Devin and Chandler were two special people who meant a lot to the University of Georgia, our football program and our athletic department. We ask that everyone keep their families in your prayers during this difficult time.”

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

He played extensively as a backup during the 2022 season and started at right guard in Southeastern Conference wins over Tennessee and Kentucky.

With the NFL draft declarations of linemen Warren McClendon and Warren Ericsson, Willock will likely be competing for the starting position in 2023 as the Bulldogs go for a third straight national title.

Police said the 21-year-old male passenger suffered minor injuries and the 26-year-old female passenger sustained serious injuries. Neither the school nor police released his identity, but the Georgia statement said, “We will continue to monitor his condition with medical personnel.”

Georgia also said that its mental health and performance personnel “will ensure that we are providing the best possible support for our employees and student-athletes who are processing this grief.”

Hours before his death, Willock retweeted a post that showed he was spending time with a young Georgia fan who appeared at a restaurant, even as the young player allowed to wear his championship ring.

The tweet said, “Special thanks to @DevinWilock for taking the time to be with my grandson.” “You went out of your way to make her feel special and you made her day!! Good luck next year! Go Dogs!”

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