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Mom of UGA player who died in wreck has no plans for legal action at this point, she says

The mother, Sharlene Willock, told 11Alive's Joe Ripley she had retained an attorney but was not involved in any pending or planned litigation over her son's death.

ATHENS, Ga. — The mother of Devin Willock, the University of Georgia football player killed in a car crash early Sunday morning, said Thursday she has no plans for legal action at this point.

The mother, Sharlene Willock, told 11Alive's Joe Ripley that she had retained an attorney but was not involved in any pending or planned litigation over her son's death.

Her statement came as an afternoon press conference was planned by an attorney who said in a release that the family and lawyers would be holding a news conference Thursday; attorneys previously said they were planning to discuss the accident investigation and potential legal actions.

The attorney, Roy Willey, held a press conference shortly before 3 p.m. but no family members were in attendance and nothing regarding litigation was announced. When the press conference concluded, 11Alive's Joe Ripley tried ask more questions but the attorney walked away. 

Willey read a statement from the family, which Sharlene Willock confirmed they provided. You can read it in full at the bottom of this article.

RELATED: Family of UGA player killed in crash lost another son in similar crash; Mother says loss 'hard to comprehend'

“He was a great human being. You know, always loving and caring and always willing to give a helping hand, a kind word. He was a great son,” Sharlene previously told NBC News.

She told 11Alive the family is planning a memorial for Willock on Saturday before they return to their home in New Jersey, where services will be held at an as-yet-undetermined time and place.

Athens-Clarke County Police released the motor vehicle crash report on Tuesday, which gives more insight of what happened. Police previously said UGA football staffer Chandler LeCroy, 24, was driving what we now know was a rental car. The report lays out that Willock, 20, was sitting behind her and not wearing a seatbelt, according to the crash report.

According to the report, the crash was initiated when the vehicle, a 2021 Ford Expedition, failed to navigate a left curve, "resulting in the vehicle striking a curb with its front passenger tire and leaving the roadway on the west shoulder" and then hitting a power pole. It adds that a contributing factor was "exceeding speed limit."

Athens-Clarke County Police said there was no obvious signs of alcohol at the scene of the crash. Authorities are awaiting the toxicology report.  

A funeral was held for LeCroy on Wednesday at First Baptist Church in Toccoa

"Chandler loved Georgia Football more than anyone we knew," her obituary reads, noting her willingness to give so much of her time to recruiting for the team. That passion and love would extend to making cards for families, decorating at events, and planning recruiting events. "She had a way of making each and every prospect and their families feel like her own family."

Another player, Warren McClendon, was in the car and survived without serious injuries. Another staffer, Tori Bowles, was seriously injured and still in critical condition as of the most recent reporting.

The Athens-Clarke County coroner told 11Alive a preliminary report on the fatalities in the crash will be ready Friday, but that a toxicology report will still take approximately 60 more days.

Devin Willock family statement

"We would like to thank the city of Athens and the overwhelming support of the Georgia and New Jersey football community, fans, teammates, coaches and friends over the past few days. As there are no words that can be found to describe the grief we are experiencing with our loss, the support of all those who have said kind words and shared loving memories of Devin has helped us during this time.

"What we would like everyone to know is that Devin was more than just a football player. He was a trusted friend, a supportive and loving brother, a dedicated student and a loving son. Devin's infectious personality and loving smile is one that no one who met or saw him will ever forget.

"He was a young man that was not driven solely by football. He was driven by his love of others and his desire to fulfill his future. He is someone that we know people who have met him will never forget, not because of this tragedy but because of the positive experiences, influence and interactions they had with him. To know Devin simply was to love him, and being the amazing young man that he was, Devin gave nothing but love and positivity to those around him.

"We also ask that you keep Chandler LeCroy's family in your thoughts and prayers, along with Warren McClendon and Tori Bowles, that they may be fully healed.

"Although we will never be able to truly get over this moment, your prayers, thoughts and memories of Devin continue to give us strength during this time. Thank you."


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