Georgia offensive linesman Devin Willock and staff member Chandler LeCroy died on Sunday morning in a horrific crash, less than a week after Georgia won the national championship in the most dominant fashion, the school announced in a statement. Willock, who was a passenger in the vehicle, was declared dead on the spot. He was 20.
LeCroy, who was driving the vehicle, was taken to a local hospital by EMS where she later passed away, according to reports. She was only 24 years old. Two other unnamed members of the team were also involved in the accident. However, they are in stable condition.
Tragedy Strikes Georgia University
The tragedy struck less than a week after Willock and his teammates celebrated their historic 65-7 victory over TCU with a parade on Saturday in Athens, Georgia. Police said they were called to a complaint of a crashed 2021 Ford Expedition in Athens, Georgia, around 2.45 am on Sunday.
On reaching the scene they found Willock and LeCroy seriously injured. Willock was declared dead on the scene, while LeCroy died in the hospital.
"The entire Georgia family is devastated by the tragic loss of football student-athlete Devin Willock and football staff member Chandler LeCroy," the school announced in a statement. "Two other members of the football program were injured in the accident. They are both in stable condition, and we will continue to monitor their status with medical personnel.
"Devin and Chandler were two special people who meant so much to the University of Georgia, our football program and our athletic department. We ask that everyone keep their families in your prayers during this very difficult time.
"The UGA Athletic Association will work with our medical team as well as our mental health and performance personnel to make sure we are providing the best support possible for our staff and student-athletes who are processing this grief. We can provide no further comment at this time but ask that everyone continue to keep those involved in your prayers."
A 21-year-old man and a 26-year-old woman who were also in the vehicle suffered critical injuries as a result of the collision. However, both are in stable condition.
According to sources for ESPN, Warren McClendon, a junior offensive lineman, was involved in the collision, although he is in stable condition. McClendon made his NFL Draft declaration for 2023 just one day earlier.
Willock, a native of Milford, New Jersey, played for Georgia in 15 games and earned two starts. He was a sophomore with a red shirt. Greg Sankey, commissioner of the Southeastern Conference (SEC), wrote on Twitter, "Incredibly sad news and we join in offering our sympathies, prayers, and support."
Nolan Smith, a senior linebacker for the Bulldogs, shared his reactions and sentiments after the incident on Twitter. "My this s**t hurt my heart man, all I have to say the GREAT ONE LEAVE TO (sic) SOON,' the tweet reads. '@DevinWillock I LOVE YOU FOREVER."
Only a few hours earlier, Willock and his teammates had participated in a victory parade around the Athens region to commemorate their national championship victory.
Willock shared numerous videos of the celebrations on his Instagram page, showing the lineman grinning and having fun with his fellow Bulldogs. ESPN ranked Willock as the No. 39 guard in the country and the No. 17 talent from his home state of New Jersey in the recruiting class of 2020.
LeCroy earned two degrees from the Mary Frances Early College of Education at the University of Georgia, according to her LinkedIn page The native of Georgia graduated with a Bachelor of Education in Sport Management in 2020, and in 2021 she earned a Master of Arts in Sport Management and Policy.
LeCroy had worked for the school's athletic department for four years, first as an intern in sports marketing promotions before beginning work as a recruitment analyst for the football team in May 2021.