Why We’re Writing This Story

From The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Managing Editor Leroy Chapman Jr. answers the question “Why we’re writing this story” about the Jan. 22, 2023, publication of “Strip club visit raises questions about fatal UGA crash.”

WE ARE PURSUING THE FACTS. Here is what we know so far. On Sunday, Jan. 15, our state woke to tragic news: Four young people — two University of Georgia athletic department employees and two football players — were in a deadly, single-vehicle accident. Two died and two were injured.

We soon learned that the rented SUV carrying the four was driven that morning by 24-year-old university employee Chandler LeCroy, who died from her injuries. Devin Willock, a 20-year-old sophomore offensive lineman, was a passenger who died at the scene.

WE ARE ASKING ACCOUNTABILITY QUESTIONS. LeCroy was driving a rental car. The university rents such vehicles to drive recruits on campus visits. Police say speed contributed to the accident. Why the four occupants of the SUV wound up together that night is important to understand. Those facts will determine who is ultimately accountable and what role the university’s decisions and policies might have played. The university is responsible for ensuring the safety and well-being of student athletes.

HOW WE GOT THIS STORY. In seeking to shed light on what happened prior to the accident, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution interviewed people who encountered some of the four involved in the accident that night. The AJC also obtained public records and street camera surveillance video and found social media posts that allow us to construct a timeline.

THE AJC WILL STICK WITH THE STORY. We are steadfastly committed to providing clarity. We will continue seeking information from UGA administrators and athletic department leaders. We are also following the law enforcement investigation.

Leroy Chapman Jr. is in charge of reporting teams that oversee metro Atlanta’s daily news coverage.

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