ATHENS, Ga. - The Georgia Bulldogs nation is still reeling after the loss of a football player and a staffer. The two died in an early morning crash Sunday just one day after Georgia celebrated its repeat national championship.
A makeshift memorial outside Sanford Stadium has grown since news began to spread. It’s an unimaginable contrast from one week ago when the Dawgs won that national championship.
There’s a big hole in the hearts of Dawgs fans and loved ones of 20-year-old offensive lineman Devin Willock and 24-year-old recruiting staffer Chandler LeCroy.
They died when the SUV they were in veered off the road and hit two utility polls on Barnett Shoals Road early Sunday morning.
Two others were hurt including offensive lineman Warren McClendon, who was roommates with Willock. Also, injured was 26-year-old Tory Bowles.
Cathy Thornton was LeCroy’s cheerleading coach at Stephens County High School. They were close. They bonded over cheering and football.
"She walked in the room, and her beauty caught your eye, and then her contagious laugh just drew you in. Once she graduated, our coach-cheerleader title changed to best friends," said Thornton.
Chandler, who worked in the recruiting office for UGA, loved being a Dawg.
Thornton now coaches Chandler’s young sister, Harper. She says Chandler’s death has been heart-wrenching for the entire LeCroy family.
"Telling stories and making them laugh is huge for them, but when the silence hits, the grief kicks in, and that's the way it is for all of us," said Thornton.
Athens-Clarke County police say the cause of the wreck remains under investigation.
UGA will offer support for its student athletes to help process this tremendous loss.
No word when services will be held.