Father of UGA player killed in crash files $40M lawsuit against athletic association, Jalen Carter

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — The father of a University of Georgia player killed in a car crash in January filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the University of Georgia Athletic Association, a former UGA football star and several other defendants.

Devin Willock and recruiting analyst Chandler LeCroy died in a Jan. 15 crash that happened hours after the football program held a back-to-back championship parade in Athens. Recruiting analyst Victoria Bowles and offensive lineman Warren McClendon survived the crash.

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Channel 2′s Tom Jones obtained a copy of the lawsuit that was filed in Gwinnett County and spoke to Willock’s father’s attorney for Channel 2 Action News at 6 p.m.

The lawsuit names the UGAAA and several of its staff members, LeCroy’s estate, former UGA star Jalen Carter, Sarchione Auto and Toppers International strip club.

Athens police said LeCroy was driving the SUV that crashed. The lawsuit alleges Carter was driving on a suspended Florida license and was racing the SUV driven by LeCroy at speeds of more than 100 mph before the crash.

The university athletic association rented the SUV driven by LeCroy. Carter pleaded no contest on misdemeanor charges related to the crash and is serving 12 months probation.

Willock’s father Dave Willock and the Willock estate are seeking $30 million from the defendants in compensatory damages and an additional $10 million in punitive damages from Carter, according to the documents.

Read the lawsuit below.

Attorney William Stiles, who is representing Willock’s father, said the purpose of the lawsuit is for accountability and to ensure that similar tragedies don’t happen in the future.

He said LeCroy and Carter shouldn’t have been behind the wheel and that the University of Georgia’s Athletic Association knew it.

“The Athletic Association should have taken steps to ensure that she was, in fact, not driving the vehicle,” Stiles said, claiming that LeCroy had a history of speeding.


Stiles said Carter should have faced a heftier punishment for his involvement in the crash. Carter entered a no contest plea on a reckless driving and racing charges, paid a fine and received 12 months probation.

“Even if your vehicle does not make contact with the other vehicle, if one of them crashes, you’re equally responsible for that crash,” Stiles said.

Stiles said there is not enough money in the world that you can pay somebody for the loss of a child.

“When I say that he is heartbroken and is distraught, would be an understatement,” Stiles said.

Channel 2 Action News reached out to the Athletic Association for comment and received the following statement before Channel 2 Action News at 6 p.m.

“The attorneys who filed the Complaint have refused to provide any factual basis for their claims against the Athletic Association, and we believe the evidence will prove them to be without merit. We intend to strongly dispute these baseless allegations in Court.”

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Jones also reached out to other parties named in the suit, but did not receive a response.

The lawsuit filed against the athletic association is separate from possible legal action against the University System of Georgia. Dave Willock’s attorney submitted an ante litem notice dated April 11 to the Board of Regents.

According to the ante litem notice, Willock would seek $2 million in funeral, burial and medical expenses as well as “physical and mental pain and suffering arising out of his son’s injuries in the collision” before his death.

In the notice, the attorneys wrote that the UGAAA and LeCroy’s estate may be sued separately from the board.