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Amid discussion of a possible lawsuit against the University of Georgia and recent stories that the victims partied at a strip club before a car crash that killed a football player and staff member last week, Georgia’s athletic director released a statement on Tuesday.
“The athletic department is conducting a thorough review in coordination with appropriate legal counsel to fully understand the circumstances surrounding this tragic event,” Georgia athletic director Josh Brooks said.
“We want to emphasize that these individuals were not engaged in athletic department duties around the time of this incident,” Brooks said.
Georgia Player And Staff Member Killed In Crash
Georgia offensive lineman Devin Willock and recruiting staff member Chandler LeCroy died from a car crash in Athens at approximately 2:45 a.m. on Jan. 15. Another passenger, recruiting staff member Tory Bowles, suffered serious injuries in the crash. A fourth passenger, Georgia offensive lineman Warren McClendon, suffered minor injuries.
The Georgia Motor Vehicle crash report stated that LeCroy, the driver, exceeded the 40 mph speed limit.
The legal ramifications could possibly hurt Georgia in a potential lawsuit if its athletic department employees were involved in athletic deparment duties. The Go Big Injury Lawyers firm announced a news conference for last Thursday with the Willock family to discuss a possible lawsuit. That plan changed, though, as an attorney only read a statement and took no questions.
Video surfaced over the weekend from the Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper that showed Willock, LeCroy, McClendon and Bowles leaving the Toppers strip club in Athens at about 2:30 a.m. on Jan. 15 – shortly before the crash. Toxicology reports that will detail if any of the four were drinking before the wreck have not been released yet.
Georgia Athletic Director Conducting Preliminary Review
“Our review is preliminary at this time,” Brooks said. “And the athletic department is fully cooperating with the law enforcement officials to determine all the facts surrounding this tragedy.”
Georgia football coach Kirby Smart and Brooks are also “reviewing relevant football policies,” Brooks said.
“At the conclusion of that review, we will take steps to implement any improvements in our policies and procedures that may be needed,” Brooks said. “Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families and friends of all those impacted by this tragic event.”
Brooks explained why he had not released a statement until now.
“Out of respect for the families involved, we have refrained from making any public statements up to this point regarding the circumstances of the tragic accident that claimed two lives and injured two members of our campus community,” he said.