ATHENS, Ga. – Less than 24 hours after a spokesperson for the law firm representing the family of a University of Georgia football player killed in a car crash indicated they would be filing a lawsuit, his mother tells FOX 5 they have no plans of taking legal action.
An attorney for the family of 20-year-old UGA football offensive lineman Devin Willock shared a statement Thursday afternoon in front of the Athens-Clarke County Courthouse. Roy Willey IV, a representative for the victim’s family, said Willock’s parents asked for “time and space” to properly process their grief. Sharlene Willock, Devin’s mother, was expected to join Willey IV, of the Go Big Injury Lawyers, but was not present.
The attorney said Willock’s parents were unable to appear at the Thursday press conference in Athens. The Willock’s statement did not mention details about a pending lawsuit concerning their son’s death.
“As there are no words that can be found to describe the grief we are experiencing with our loss, the support of all of those who have shared kind words and loving memories of Devin has helped us during this time,” the statement said, in part. “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 wonderful son.”
Georgia Bulldogs offensive lineman Devin Willock (77) looks on during a college football game between the Auburn Tigers and the Georgia Bulldogs on October 8, 2022 at Sanford Stadium in Athens, GA. (Photo by Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty I
FOX 5 spoke with a representative Wednesday, who adamantly indicated they would be filing a suit in connection with the crash.
Willock’s image and likeness were used for an advertising campaign. Billboards of Willock still can be found in and around the Athens area.
Willock was one of four people in an SUV that crashed just before 3 a.m. Sunday, just hours after a day-long celebration of back-to-back national championships by the Georgia Bulldogs.
According to the crash report released Tuesday, Willock was sitting behind the driver’s seat of the black 2021 Ford Expedition when it left the roadway along Barnett Shoals Road a short distance before Stroud Road.
The report states Willock was not wearing his seat belt and was thrown from the SUV after the vehicle violently tore through two power poles and the back end struck a tree. He died at the scene.
The driver, 24-year-old UGA recruiting staffer Chandler LeCroy, was trapped in the vehicle. She would be rushed to Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center where she was pronounced dead. Wednesday, she was laid to rest in her hometown of Toccoa.
A UGA football player and recruiting specialist were killed and two others injured in a violent crash along Barnett Shoals Road in Athens during the early morning hours of Jan. 15, 2023. (FOX 5)
The report states that 21-year-old offensive lineman Warren McClendon, who was in the front passenger seat, and 26-year-old recruiting staffer Tory Bowles, who was in the right rear seat, were both injured. They were still recovering as of Wednesday evening.
While the crash report was released Tuesday, investigators say toxicology reports will likely not be in for another few months.
The report cites excessive speeding as a contributing factor in the deadly crash.