ATHENS, Ga. — The University of Georgia on Tuesday issued a new statement on the crash that killed a football player and team staffer, saying that the victims were "not engaged in Athletic Department duties" at the time the wreck occurred.
It had been an open question as to whether the staffer killed, 24-year-old Chandler LeCroy and another staffer seriously injured, 26-year-old Tori Bowles, were with the players in any professional capacity when the tragedy happened.
An Athens-Clarke County Police report into the incident said the vehicle involved in the crash was a rental car. 11Alive has asked UGA if the school rented the car, and in its responses, the school has not said whether it did or not.
The crash happened in the early morning hours of Sunday, Jan. 15, hours after the team had celebrated its national championship with a parade through Athens and a ceremony at Sanford Stadium.
In addition to Willock, LeCroy and Bowles, UGA offensive lineman Warren McClendon was also in the car. He suffered a laceration to the head but was otherwise okay. Bowles was initially in critical, and no recent update on her condition has been given.
The statement, by UGA Director of Athletics Josh Brooks, said that the athletic director and Coach Kirby Smart are "actively reviewing relevant football policies, and at the conclusion of that review, we will take steps to implement any improvements in our policies and procedures that may be needed," in the wake of the incident.
According to a police crash 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 were no obvious signs of alcohol at the scene of the crash. Authorities are awaiting the toxicology report.
Last week a funeral was held for LeCroy in her hometown of Toccoa.
"Chandler loved Georgia Football more than anyone we knew," her obituary said, 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."
Service information has also been released for Willock. He will be remembered on Friday, Jan. 27 in his native New Jersey in a public celebration of life.
“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,” his mother Sharlene Willock previously told NBC News.
Full UGA statement
“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. However, we want the public to know that the Athletic Department is conducting a thorough review, in coordination with appropriate legal counsel, to fully understand the circumstances surrounding this tragic event. We want to emphasize that these individuals were not engaged in Athletic Department duties around the time of this incident.
Our review is preliminary at this time, and the Athletic Department is fully cooperating with law enforcement officials to determine all the facts surrounding this tragedy. Coach Smart and I are also actively reviewing relevant football policies, and at the conclusion of that review, we will take steps to implement any improvements in our policies and procedures that may be needed.
Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families and friends of all those impacted by this tragic event.”