It seems the Bears dodged a bullet in the 2023 NFL draft by trading their No. 9 pick to the Philadelphia Eagles, allowing them to select Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter while taking the No. 10 pick and a 2024 fourth-rounder in exchange.
The Bears opted to select Tennessee right tackle Darnell Wright, passing on Carter, who was presumably a top-three pick before getting in a handful of legal trouble the night the Georgia Bulldogs won the National Championship.
On Thursday, Victoria Bowles -- a former recruiting analyst for the university -- filed a lawsuit against Carter and the University of Georgia athletics association for the accident she and Carter were involved in on Jan. 15. The incident saw two members of Georgia's football program die as a result, as well as severe injuries to Bowles and another.
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Bowles' lawsuit claims Carter "illegally left the scene without speaking to law enforcement and failed to render aid," according to a report from ESPN.
"Despite LeCroy's passenger, [former Georgia offensive lineman Warren McClendon], stating to him that he could not locate Devin Willock, Defendant Carter left the scene after less than 10 minutes when another UGA football player at the scene yelled at him: 'Yo…hey, JC…you might want to go ahead and go get the f--- on yo….'" the lawsuit said.
"As Defendant Carter was aware at the time, he was jointly responsible for the crash, and had a legal duty to remain on the scene. Instead, in part obviously fearful of bad publicity and the effect on his NFL draft status, he hoped not to be questioned or take any responsibility for his actions."
Chandler LeCroy, the driver of Bowles' car, raced Carter the night Georgia won the National Championship. LeCroy was driving the car 104.2 miles per hour before fatally crashing into trees and utility poles. His blood alcohol level was .197, nearly three times past Georgia's legal limit.
Bowles suffered around $170,000 in medical damages from the accident. Her injuries, included in the lawsuit, were three lumbar fractures, five fractured vertebrae, 10 broken ribs, a broken clavicle, fractured and cracked teeth, kidney and liver lacerations, punctured and collapsed lung and abdominal bleeding.
Last March, Carter pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and racing. He was sentenced to 12 months of probation, 80 hours of community service and a $1,000 fine. He must also attend a state-approved driving course.
Along with Bowles' lawsuit, Carter is included in another filed by the father of Devin Willock, a player who died as a result of the incident.
Without speaking specifically about Carter, Bears general manager Ryan Poles mentioned his belief to 670 the Score that the Eagles possess a more robust, developed roster to inhale Carter, as opposed to the Bears.
"I will say that our culture is important," Poles said on May 12. "I'll say that we know where our roster is right now and what it can handle, what it can't handle. I think that's part of being intelligent in this space is knowing your locker room and where it's at.
"I'm happy we made the decision that we made. Specifically, on Jalen, I think he went to a fantastic place that has, kinda like their cement dry in their foundation."