Victoria Bowles, a former Georgia staffer who was injured but survived the fatal car accident that took the lives of two others in January, filed a lawsuit against Georgia athletics, Jalen Carter and the estate of the deceased staffer.
According to the lawsuit, filed in Gwinnett County (Ga.) on Wednesday, Bowles likely suffered “permanent disability” in the Jan. 15 wreck that killed Bulldogs offensive lineman Devin Willock and recruiting staffer Chandler LeCroy, who is named in the lawsuit.
Police say LeCroy, the driver, had a blood alcohol concentration of .197, nearly 2 1/2 times the Georgia limit, when the SUV she was driving was traveling 104 mph when it veered off the road and hit two power poles and several trees.
Bowles has incurred more than $170,000 in medical expenses since the wreck, per her attorneys.
“Tory is deeply saddened by the loss of Devin and Chandler,” Bowles’ attorney Rob Buck said. “She greatly appreciates the continued prayers, love and support she is receiving during her difficult recovery. … Tory is disappointed that the Association and its insurers have forced her to resort to litigation to address her life altering injuries.”
Bowles was a recruiting analyst who was in the car driven by LeCroy and also occupied by Willock and then OL Warren McClendon hours after the victory parade celebrating Georgia’s second straight national championship,
Bowles is suing the UGA Athletic Association for negligence for allowing LeCroy to drive the car despite knowing she had incurred “at least four speeding tickets, which included two ‘super speeder’ violations under Georgia law.”
Further, the lawsuit disputes Georgia’s assertion that LeCroy was not authorized to drive the 2021 Ford Expedition, leased by the athletic department.
“LeCroy told Ms. Bowles that she (LeCroy) had ‘permission’ to keep the SUV ‘until tomorrow,'” the lawsuit said. “Numerous text messages from recruiting staff supervisors to LeCroy, Ms. Bowles and other staff members show the Association’s statement is false. Recruiting staff were regularly informed they could leave their personal vehicles overnight at the Butts-Mehre football facility and permissively use Association rental vehicles through a specified cut-off date and time, unrelated to their assigned recruiting activity duties.”
The Georgia Athletic Association released a statement Thursday.
“We have not been served with the complaint, as plaintiff’s counsel chose to share it with the media before sharing it with us. Based on our preliminary review, we dispute its claims and will defend the Athletic Association’s interests in court.”
The suit accuses Carter, who police said was racing LeCroy in another vehicle, of illegally leaving the scene and failing to render aid.
Carter pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and racing in March. Carter was sentenced to 12 months of probation, a $1,000 fine and 80 hours of community service. He also will attend a state-approved defensive driving course.
Carter signed a four-year deal worth $21.8 million with the Philadelphia Eagles after being selected No. 9 overall in the April draft.
Willock’s father, Dave Willock, filed a $40 million lawsuit in May against UGA, LeCroy’s estate and Carter, among others.
–Field Level Media