UGA’s Devin Willock and Chandler LeCroy died in a automotive crash hours after the championship celebration
University of Georgia soccer player Devin Willock and his associate Chandler LeCroy were killed in a single car crash early Sunday, just hours after their team celebrated its 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 accident, which occurred around 2:45 a.m. Sunday near the UGA campus in Athens, according to the Athens County Police Department. Clarke .
LeCroy was driving when the 2021 Ford Expedition went off the road, hitting two utility poles and several trees, police said. Willock died at the scene and LeCroy later died after being rushed to a hospital, police said.
A 21-year-old passenger and a 26-year-old female passenger were also seriously injured in the accident, police said. The university said the two injured passengers had been linked to the football program but had not identified 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 at this very difficult time.”
Willock, a redshirt sophomore from New Milford, New Jersey, played on the offensive line in all of the team’s 15 games that year, according to the Georgia football roster.
“We are all heartbroken and devastated by 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, was a great teammate and a pleasure to coach. Chandler was a valuable member of our football team and brought incredible attitude and energy to it every day. We mourn this tragic loss with their families and will support them in any way we can.”
The fatal crash came after a day of celebrations as UGA players, coaches and fans packed Sanford Stadium in honor 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 snapped a photo together. The 6ft 7in, 335lb lineman punched the youngster and made him wear his giant 2021 national championship ring.
“Special thanks to @DevinWillock for making time for my grandson when he didn’t have to. You did everything 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 blown away after meeting one of his heroes, the grandfather said. Willock, on the other hand, seemed “so full of life and just so happy,” Kramer added. “He was humble and very grateful that we knew who he was and wanted to speak to him.”
Special thanks to @DevinWillock for making time for my grandson when he didn’t have to. You did everything to make him feel special and you made his day!! Good luck next year! Go Dawgs! pic.twitter.com/3pgfXAMBFQ
— Sam Kramer 🖤❤🐶 (@samkramer76) January 14, 2023
Former Georgia defenseman Jordan Davis, now with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, said in a tweet that he was heartbroken. “To see them grow and become like family in those few years. There is no grief without love and we love you both like family,” he wrote.
Georgia linebacker Nolan Smith said the deaths “broke my heart, all I have to say the GREAT ONES LEAVE TO SOON,” he wrote on Twitter. “@DevinWillock I LOVE YOU FOREVER.”