University of Georgia football player Devin Willock and football staff member Chandler LeCroy were killed in a single car crash early Sunday just hours after their team celebrated its national championship with a victory parade and celebration, according to a statement from the UGA Athletic Association and reporting from CNN affiliate WXIA.
Willock, 20, and LeCroy, 24, were among four people in the vehicle at the time of the crash, which happened around 2:45 a.m. on Sunday not far from the UGA campus in Athens, WXIA reported.
“Devin and Chandler were two special people who meant so much to the University of Georgia, our football program and our athletic department,” the UGA Athletic Association said in a statement. “We ask that everyone keep their families in your prayers during this very difficult time.”
Willock, a redshirt sophomore from New Milford, New Jersey, played on the offensive line in all 15 of the team’s games this year, according to Georgia’s football roster.
Two other members of the football program were injured in the crash and are in stable condition at a hospital, the university said. The two others who were injured have not yet been identified.
CNN has reached out to the Athens-Clarke County Police Department to obtain a copy of the incident report.
Hours earlier, the UGA players, coaches and fans packed into Sanford Stadium to celebrate their second straight national championship. Many offered condolences and memories of the two.
“We are all heartbroken and devastated with the loss of Devin Willock and Chandler LeCroy,” UGA Head Football Coach Kirby Smart said in a statement Sunday morning.
“Devin was an outstanding young man in every way. He was always smiling, was a great teammate and a joy to coach. Chandler was a valuable member of our football staff and brought an incredible attitude and energy every single day. We grieve with their families for this tragic loss and will support them in every way possible,” the coach added.
University President Jere W. Morehead remembered Willock and LeCroy in a statement Sunday morning.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and friends. We also pray for the full recovery of those injured in this tragic accident.”
Former Georgia defensive lineman Jordan Davis, now with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, said in a tweet he was heartbroken. “Watching them grow and become like family over these few years. There is no grief without love, and we love both of you like family,” he wrote.
Georgia linebacker Nolan Smith said the deaths “hurt my heart man, all I have to say the GREAT ONES LEAVE TO SOON,” he wrote on Twitter. “@DevinWillock I LOVE YOU FOREVER.”