Warrants were issued on Wednesday for the arrest of Jalen Carter, a potential top-five pick in the coming N.F.L. draft, in connection with a car crash in January that killed two people, including a University of Georgia teammate. The crash took place hours after the team’s parade for winning the national championship.
The arrest warrants accuse Carter of misdemeanor counts of reckless driving and racing. Police said Wednesday they had been in contact with Carter’s representatives to arrange his surrender.
The Athens-Clarke County Police Department said Wednesday that Carter, who had not been publicly connected to the crash earlier, was racing his Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk with a Ford Expedition driven by Chandler LeCroy, a recruiting analyst for the team.
The cars were speeding and driving recklessly, according to the police account. The Expedition was traveling at about 100 miles per hour when it crashed, killing LeCroy, 24, and Devin Willock, 20, a redshirt sophomore on the team. Toxicology reports indicated that LeCroy was intoxicated at the time of the crash.
In a statement posted to his social media account, Carter, 21, confirmed that he planned to return to Athens to answer the charges, but added that news accounts contained “inaccurate information” about what happened the night of the crash. “There is no question in my mind that when all the facts are known that I will be fully exonerated of any criminal wrongdoing,” he added.
Carter had been scheduled to speak to the news media at the N.F.L. scouting combine in Indianapolis on Wednesday morning, but he did not appear.
“The charges announced today are deeply concerning,” Georgia Coach Kirby Smart said in a statement, “especially as we are still struggling to cope with the devastating loss of two beloved members of our community.”
Carter, a defensive tackle, is considered one of the top prospects for the N.F.L. draft in April and has been widely projected to be selected in the top five.
Allegations of his involvement were first reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which said he had given conflicting statements to the police about his whereabouts at the time of the crash.
The crash occurred in Athens, Ga., in the early morning of Jan. 15. LeCroy’s vehicle left the road and struck power poles and trees, according to the police. Two other passengers in the car were hurt.
Emmanuel Morgan and Kris Rhim contributed reporting from Indianapolis.
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