ATHENS, Ga. — New police body camera footage released Wednesday reveals that a University of Georgia football player charged in a deadly car crash had received a warning from police regarding his driving months earlier.
UGA defensive tackle Jalen Carter faces misdemeanor reckless driving and racing charges in connection to the Jan. 15. crash that killed UGA recruiter Chandler LeCroy and UGA offensive lineman Devin Willock.
Police said LeCroy had been drinking and had a blood alcohol concentration level more than two times the legal limit. Investigators also said evidence points to LeCroy and Carter racing “at a high rate of speed” at the time of the crash.
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A new video obtained by ABC News and Channel 2 Action News on Wednesday shows an Athens-Clarke County police officer pull Carter over on Sept. 22, 2022, for driving 89 mph in a 45 mph zone. Carter appeared to be driving the same black 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk he was driving on Jan. 15 in the moments before the fatal crash.
In the September video, the officer tells Carter that he had already pulled over two other UGA players for speeding, including one of his teammates, just minutes earlier.
“Y’all need to slow down, dude,” the officer said.
The officer also told Carter that his windows were tinted too dark and violated Georgia law. The officer issued Carter a citation.
“Your break is you’re not going to jail. Because that would make all kinds of news, right?” the officer said.
“I don’t know if y’all need to send out a text or something to your teammates, slow down,” the officer says in the video. “We wouldn’t be talking if you were going the speed limit. I could care less about tint violation. But that was reckless. When you are around your teammates, just tell them to slow down. It’s so easy to slow down.”
The officer explained the separate citations and information for Carter’s traffic court date and once again repeated his plea to slow down.
“Slow down, OK? That’s all I ask.”
Channel 2 investigative Ashli Lincoln obtained Carter’s driving record and broke down the documents on Channel 2 Action News at 6 p.m.
Carter had been previously cited for speeding, parking in a handicapped zone and excessively tinted windows during the fall semester, according to the records.
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On Wednesday, Carter turned himself in to Athens-Clarke County police on reckless driving and racing charges, which are both misdemeanors. It’s unclear if he may face additional charges in connection to the Jan. 15 crash.
“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,” police said.
Surveillance video that was obtained by Channel 2 Action News shows that five minutes before the crash, LeCroy’s black Ford Expedition and Carter’s Jeep Cherokee Trackhawk were stopped at a red light. The video shows both vehicles speed away.
Athens police said initially, Carter gave officers false statements regarding his whereabouts at the time of the crash.
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Carter is not the first UGA player who has faced reckless driving and racing allegations this year.
On Feb. 23, UGA linebacker Jamon Dumas-Johnson was arrested for reckless driving and racing on highways and streets in connection to an incident on Jan. 10 in Athens.
The UGA Athletics Association released the following statement regarding the incident:
“We are aware of a report relating to a Jan. 10 incident on College Station Road involving one of our student-athletes. The alleged conduct does not reflect our program’s values or the high standards we have established. As this is an open matter involving a student, we are not able to provide any additional information at this time and will continue to cooperate fully with law enforcement.”
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