The Atlanta Journal-Constitution obtained video of Willock, LeCroy, other UGA players, and another female staffer spotted on a street surveillance camera leaving Toppers International Showbar in downtown Athens about 2:30 a.m. preceding the fatal crash. The video raises questions about boundaries in the program.
EXCLUSIVE: New video provides a glimpse of Devin Willock and Warren McClendon minutes before their speeding SUV slammed into two utility poles, two trees and an apartment building. It raises questions about boundaries between the program’s staff & athletes.https://t.co/ecXMCWd80o
— Atlanta Journal-Constitution (@ajc) January 22, 2023
Who was involved in fatal crash?
LeCroy was a 24-year-old recruiting analyst for the Bulldogs. Victoria Bowles, 26-year-old female staffer, served in the same role and was a passenger in the back seat at the time of the crash. She survived and suffered minor injuries.
Willock is a 20-year-old offensive lineman that lost his life along with LeCroy. Willock died at the scene of the accident.
Warren McClendon was the front seat passenger during the crash. He is a 21-year-old starting offensive lineman for the Bulldogs that sustained a laceration to his head during the crash but survived.
UGA Guideline for Student-Athlete/Staff Relationships
Both LeCroy and Bowles have naturally built relationships with the football players because of their roles with the team as recruiting analyst. They are among the first people to come in contact with recruiting prospects when they are doing on-campus visits.
Their duties include giving tours to football prospects, providing transportation to prospects, showing them around Athens, and making prospects feel as comfortable as possible during visits. Their roles do not include accompanying current players on any occasion.
The UGA Athletic Association policy manual for athletes says the coaches and staff members are responsible for avoiding “prohibited consensual relationships” with athletes, including “inappropriate” behavior, which is not exhaustively defined.
The university hasn’t commented directly about the the players and staffers being spotted together but did release a statement last week.
“Our primary focus remains on providing comfort and support to the families and friends of Devin, Chandler, and the two others who were injured, as well as everyone impacted by this tragedy. Out of respect for the individuals and their families, we will not comment further at this time on the accident or the ongoing investigation,” said UGA Athletics to the AJC.
Details of the Night
The celebration began on Jan. 14 with the parade to celebrate the Bulldogs winning back-to-back national championships for the first time in school history. The two female analysts spent the day assisting recruits on campus for their visits.
According to the AJC reports, it is unknown when the two football players and the two analysts met up. Willock posed for a picture with a young fan around 6 p.m. in a local restaurant in downtown Athens that was posted on social media by the young fan.
Later, McClendon and Willock gathered with teammates in the evening to continue their celebration. LeCroy and Bowles are suspected to have been among the group that gathered together.
The surveillance camera photo captured the group of four leaving the strip club around 2:30 a.m., minutes before the fatal crash. The four piled into LeCroy’s Ford Expedition and proceeded to leave the downtown area.
At 2:48 a.m., a police dispatcher sent an officer to check on an accident reported at the intersection of Barnett Shoals and Stroud roads. An investigation found that LeCroy was driving 40 miles over the speed limit and she “failed to negotiate” a curve, a police accident report said. The Expedition’s front passenger-side tire hit a curb, forcing the vehicle off the roadway.
After hitting two utility poles, the vehicle “struck a tree with its rear passenger quarter panel and caused it to begin rotating clockwise where it struck another tree with its driver’s side, stated in the police accident report.
Willock was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead on the scene. LeCroy was transported to Athens Hospital and died there. LeCroy was not given an alcohol and drug test at the crash site, and her operating condition has been listed as “unknown.”
It is also noted that the Ford Expedition LeCroy was driving has been used by the UGA program to provide transportation to recruits while on visit. The change took place from golf carts to the luxury Ford Expeditions when Kirby Smart became head coach in 2015.