Top NFL prospect Jalen Carter’s role in fatal crash: What we know

NFL draft prospect Jalen Carter faces misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and racing in connection with the January crash that killed two members of the University of Georgia football team.

Carter turned himself in to authorities Wednesday night and was released shortly after.

Carter’s connection to the incident became the biggest story from the NFL scouting combine this week. 

Carter, a standout defensive lineman, is a potential top-five pick in the 2023 NFL draft after his college career during which he helped the Georgia football team win consecutive national championships.

He met with several teams at the combine in Indianapolis before turning his attention to his off-field matter.

Here’s the latest on Jalen Carter during NFL scouting combine week:

Jalen Carter returns to Indianapolis for combine

Jalen Carter’s last 24 hours have been quite eventful.

After turning himself in late Wednesday night, Carter returned to the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports’ Tyler Dragon. The person requested anonymity because he is not authorized to speak publicly about the situation.

Carter is set to participate in interviews, measurements and other activities.

Has Jalen Carter turned himself in yet?

Carter turned himself in to authorities Wednesday night after a warrant was issued for his arrest Wednesday morning, jail records show. He was booked into Athens-Clarke County Jail in Georgia at 11:33 p.m. Wednesday and released shortly afterward at 11:49 p.m.

What is Jalen Carter saying?

Carter released a statement Wednesday, following the news of the arrest warrant.

‘It is my intention to return to Athens to answer the misdemeanor charges against me and to make certain that the complete and accurate truth is presented,’ Carter said in a post from his Twitter account.

‘There is no question in my mind that when all of the facts are known that I will be fully exonerated of any criminal wrongdoing.’

Jalen Carter under investigation by police

The Athens-Clarke County Police Department secured an arrest warrant for Carter in connection with its investigation into the Jan. 15 incident that killed Georgia recruiting staffer Chandler LeCroy and offensive lineman Devin Willock.

Carter is being charged with reckless driving and racing, both misdemeanor charges.

The ACCPD investigation determined Carter, in a 2021 Jeep Trackhawk, and LeCroy, in a 2021 Ford Expedition, were driving in a manner consistent with racing shortly after leaving the downtown Athens area at about 2:30 a.m. local time.

Both vehicles switched between lanes, drove in the center turn lane, drove in opposite lanes of travel, overtook other motorists, and drove at high rates of speed, in an apparent attempt to outdistance each other, according to the investigation.  

The Expedition was traveling at about 104 miles per hour shortly before the crash, per the investigation. The toxicology report indicated that LeCroy’s blood alcohol concentration was .197 at the time of the crash.

“Investigators determined that alcohol impairment, racing, reckless driving, and speed were significant contributing factors to the crash,” police said in the news release.

Two other passengers in LeCroy’s vehicle sustained injuries: Georgia offensive lineman Warren McClendon, and recruiting staffer Victoria “Tory” Bowles.

What is Jalen Carter accused of?

Early Wednesday, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Carter initially told police he heard the crash from a nearby apartment complex, but then later told an officer he had been driving both behind and beside the vehicle driven by LeCroy.

Carter left the scene before police or emergency personnel arrived, and returned to the scene less than two hours later, according to the AJC.

In his statement, Carter pushed back against ‘numerous media reports … containing inaccurate information.’

What is Georgia coach Kirby Smart saying?

Kirby Smart, Georgia’s football coach, released a statement through the school early Wednesday morning.

‘The charges announced today are deeply concerning, especially as we are still struggling to cope with the devastating loss of two beloved members of our community,’ Smart said.

‘We will continue to cooperate fully with the authorities while supporting these families and assessing what we can learn from this horrible tragedy.’

Jalen Carter at the NFL scouting combine

Carter reported to Indianapolis for the combine with the intention of meeting with teams before the 2023 NFL draft. He did not have plans to work out during the event.

Carter was scheduled to meet with reporters for a media availability Wednesday morning, but did not appear.

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