Georgia fires football staffer suing school over deadly car crash

Following a procession commemorating the Bulldogs’ triumph in the national championship, which took place on January 15th in Athens, Georgia, Victoria Bowles filed a lawsuit against the university and former Bulldogs standout Jalen Carter last month regarding the automobile collision.

Another member of the recruiting staff, Chandler LeCroy, allegedly engaged in a race with Carter using a school-leased SUV before the accident.

Carter was chosen as the ninth overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft by the Eagles.

According to the police, the accident, in which LeCroy lost his life, was a result of driving at a velocity exceeding 100 miles per hour and possessing a blood-alcohol level of .197, which is more than double the legal threshold of .08.

Bowles’ attorneys stated that she is facing retaliation in response to her legal action.

Victoria "Tory" Bowles.
Victoria Bowles, the recruiting staffer who sued the University of Georgia after surviving a car wreck that claimed the lives of two in the vehicle, has been fired by the school.

The college stated in a declaration that Bowles was terminated for failing to collaborate with its inquiry.

Another player from Georgia, Warren McClendon, only suffered minor injuries.

Bowles, who was sitting in the backseat next to Willock, sustained serious injuries, including lacerations and injuries to her liver and kidney, as well as fractures in her rib and lumbar spine.

The scene of the car crash that killed Georgia offensive lineman Devin Willock and university staffer Chandler LeCroy in Athens on January 15, 2023.
The scene of the car crash that killed Georgia offensive lineman Devin Willock and university staffer Chandler LeCroy in Athens on January 15, 2023.
Ceciley Pangburn

She also endured a closed-head injury with neurological impairment and intense eye discomfort.

The lawsuit, which includes the LeCroy estate as an additional defendant, aims to recover at least $171,595 in total damages along with punitive remedies.

Before the collision, the lawsuit alleges that LeCroy had at least two instances of “excessive speed” infractions out of four speeding citations, and the Georgia sports organization entrusted a leased SUV to her with full knowledge.

The sports organization stated that team members were permitted to utilize rental cars exclusively for the purpose of recruiting.

Jalen Carter at the NFL Draft.
Jalen Carter was drafted by the Eagles not long after the deadly crash.
USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

The athletic association stated that the recruitment personnel were not permitted to utilize hired vehicles to travel at high speeds while under the influence.

As per documents acquired by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bowles was placed on leave without pay in March by the athletic association, subsequent to the accident, after being on leave with pay for a few months due to medical reasons.

Rob Buck, the lawyer representing Bowles in her lawsuit, stated that her client, who earned an annual salary of less than $12,000, has been involved in a “campaign of harassment” against the university.

Despite her loyalty, Tory’s meager salary has made her expendable in the UGA football program, just like other perceived liabilities.

LeCroy was driving the car during the crash.
Chandler LeCroy was driving the car during the crash.
The University of Georgia
The University of Georgia’s athletic association claimed Bowles was fired for not complying with an investigation into the fatal car wreck, while her attorneys said the dismissal was retaliatory.
Getty Images

The athletic association stated on Monday that Bowles wished for her recovery to be well, as it was forced for her lack of cooperation in igniting her fire.

“Ms. Bowles, through her attorney, consistently declined to collaborate and furnish information. Moreover, on multiple instances, she declined to engage in discussions with our investigators. The statement obtained by the Journal-Constitution stated, ‘Ms. Bowles was repeatedly requested to engage in conversations with our investigators and provide information.’ It further emphasized the obligation for university employees to comply with internal investigations, as stipulated by relevant policies.”

“Consequently, we were ultimately left with no option except to end her employment.”