By CHARLES ODUM
AP Sports Writer
Georgia athletic department officials say the vehicle involved in a crash that killed a football player and employee on Jan. 15 was to be used only for recruiting activities, not personal use.
The University of Georgia athletic association provided that information in a statement to The Associated Press on Saturday, saying personal use of the SUV was “strictly prohibited.”
Georgia offensive lineman Devin Willock and Chandler LeCroy, a 24-year-old who worked in the recruiting department and was driving the SUV, were killed in the early-morning accident that happened hours following a parade and celebration of the Bulldogs’ second consecutive national championship. Another player and another employee were in the vehicle and injured.
Georgia athletic director Josh Brooks said Tuesday that no one in the car was on athletic department business.
“The car driven in the accident was one of several vehicles leased by our athletic department for use during recruiting activities only,” the athletic association said in Saturday’s statement, which first reported Friday night by the Athens Banner-Herald and Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“Policies and expectations that were well understood by athletics staff dictated that such rental vehicles were to be turned in at the immediate conclusion of recruiting duties. Personal use was strictly prohibited. Therefore, the continued use of the leased car by our staff members after their recruiting duties ended earlier that evening was unauthorized.”
A police report released Tuesday listed excessive speed on a road with a 40 mph (64 kph) limit as one of the primary causes of the crash.
Offensive lineman Warren McClendon, who had just announced plans to enter the NFL draft, sustained minor injuries. Georgia football staffer Victoria Bowles was hospitalized with multiple serious injuries.
“We are continuing to cooperate fully with investigators,” the athletic association statement said. “Above all, our thoughts and prayers remain with the families and friends of those we lost and those who were injured in this tragic accident.”
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