University of Georgia football player Devin Willock and collaborator Chandler LeCroy were killed early Sunday in a single car accident, just hours after their team celebrated their national championship with a victory parade and celebration, according to a statement from the UGA Athletic. Association.
Willock, 20, and LeCroy, 24, were among the four people in the vehicle at the time of the crash, which occurred around 2:45 a.m. Sunday, not far from the UGA campus in Athens, according to Athens police. Clark County.
LeCroy was driving when the 2021 Ford Expedition veered off the road and struck two power poles and several trees, police said. Willock died at the scene and LeCroy later died after being taken to a hospital, police said.
A 21-year-old male passenger and a 26-year-old female passenger also suffered serious injuries in the accident, according to police. The university said the two injured passengers were connected to the football program but did not identify them.
“Devin and Chandler were two special people who meant so much to the University of Georgia, our football program and our athletic department,” the UGA Athletic Association said in a statement. “We ask everyone to keep their families in your prayers during this very difficult time.”
Willock, a redshirt sophomore from New Milford, New Jersey, played on the offensive line in all 15 of the team’s games this year, according to the Georgia football roster.
“We are all heartbroken and devastated at the loss of Devin Willock and Chandler LeCroy,” UGA head football coach Kirby Smart said in a statement Sunday morning.
“Devin was an outstanding young man in every way. He was always smiling, a great teammate and a pleasure to coach. Chandler was a valuable member of our football staff, bringing incredible attitude and energy to every day. We mourn this tragic loss with their families and will support them in every way we can,” the coach added.
The fatal crash came after a day of celebration as UGA players, coaches and fans poured into Sanford Stadium in celebration of their second straight national championship.
At a Texas Roadhouse in Athens on Saturday, a 7-year-old Georgia fan named Camdyn Gonzales met Willock and took a picture together. The 6-foot-7-inch, 335-pound lineman punched the boy and made him wear his massive 2021 national championship ring.
“Special thanks to @DevinWillock for taking time with my grandson when it wasn’t necessary. You did everything you could to make him feel special and you made his day! Good luck next year! Go Dawgs! the boy’s grandfather, Sam Kramer, wrote in a tweet.
Camdyn was impressed after meeting one of his heroes, the grandfather said. Willock, meanwhile, seemed “so full of life and just happy,” Kramer added. “He was humbled and very grateful that we knew who he was and wanted to talk to him.”
Former Georgia defensive lineman Jordan Davis, now with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, said in a tweet he was heartbroken. “Watching them grow and become a family in these few years. There is no sorrow without love, and we love you both as family,” he wrote.
Georgia linebacker Nolan Smith said the deaths “hurt my heart, man, all I have to say is LEAVE THE GREATS TOO SOON”, he wrote on Twitter. “@DevinWillock I LOVE YOU FOREVER.”