Eagles' Jalen Carter Sued by Father of Georgia Teammate Who Died in Car Crash in $40M Lawsuit
The car crash killed Carter's University of Georgia teammate Devin Willock and team staffer Chandler LeCroy
Philadelphia Eagles star Jalen Carter has been named in a $40M lawsuit in relation to his involvement in a car crash that killed his University of Georgia teammate Devin Willock and team staffer Chandler LeCroy.
Devin's father, Dave Willock, filed the complaint against Carter — who was drafted by the Eagles as the No. 9 overall pick at the 2023 NFL Draft last month — as well as the university's athletic association and LeCroy's estate. The suit also names strip club Toppers International Showbar, per ESPN.
According to court documents, the lawsuit, filed on Tuesday, is seeking $30 million from the defendants in compensatory damages and an extra $10 million in punitive damages from Carter, 22. Per a report from WSB-TV, the amount "represents what his son would have made if he had gotten to the NFL."
The late-night crash happened on Jan. 15, 2023, shortly after the team won their second straight national championship. On March 1, an arrest warrant was issued for Carter for his alleged involvement in the crash and he was charged with two misdemeanors: reckless driving and racing on highways/streets.
Police claimed that Carter had been racing LeCroy's car, in which Willock, 20, was a passenger. Dave Willock's attorneys allege that Georgia officials were aware of LeCroy's driving history, which included four speeding tickets over the past six years, according to ESPN.
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Related:Ga. Football Star Jalen Carter Surrenders to Police After Car Crash That Killed Teammate, Staffer
Per a statement from the Athens-Clarke County Police Department to PEOPLE, "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."
LeCroy, 24, who was intoxicated and believed to be driving 104 miles per hour, lost control of her vehicle — striking a curb, power pole and utility pole before hitting a tree. Willock, an offensive lineman, was ejected from the vehicle during the crash and died at the scene, per the police report. LeCroy, who had a blood alcohol concentration of .197, during the time of the crash, died in hospital.
The Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported that Carter spoke to officers at the scene of the accident and provided conflicting statements. He first told officers he heard the crash from a nearby apartment building, then said he was driving behind LeCroy. He reportedly denied that he had been racing a car to the officers on the scene.
RELATED VIDEO: Ga. Football Star Jalen Carter Surrenders to Police After Car Crash That Killed Teammate, Staffer
On the same day the arrest warrant was issued, Carter turned himself into police, reporting to the Athens-Clarke County Jail at 11:33 P.M. He was released at 11:49 P.M. that same night, jail records showed.
He pled no contest to the charges and was sentenced to 12 months probation, 80 hours of community service and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine, The New York Times reported.
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Carter's attorney Kim Stephens provided a statement to ESPN following Carter's sentencing. "We are happy that we were able to work with the solicitor general's office to reach a resolution that was fair and just based on the evidence in this case," the statement read.
"Mr. Carter continues to grieve for the loss of his friends and continues to pray for their families, as well as for the continued healing for injured friends."
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