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2 Clemson players were racing before crash that injured SC postal worker, lawsuit says

The Charlotte Observer logo The Charlotte Observer 10/6/2022 Chapel Fowler, The Charlotte Observer

Two Clemson football players were racing each other in the moments before a crash that severely injured a postal worker in July 2021, according to a civil court lawsuit filed Wednesday.

A lawsuit filed on behalf of crash victim Karen Lorraine Alvarez accused Clemson defensive backs Fred Davis II and Malcolm Greene of “racing their vehicles” prior to Davis’ car colliding with Alvarez’s postal vehicle on July 21, 2021 on U.S. Highway 123 in Clemson.

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said Wednesday the lawsuit against Davis and Greene “doesn’t change anything as far as their status on the team.” Both cornerbacks remain with the program ahead of No. 5 Clemson’s road game at Boston College on Saturday night.

“I think everybody knew this was coming,” Swinney said. “It’s a civil suit and that stuff will play out, but certainly we all know there’s consequences. Even though it was a year ago and they’ve had a lot of things internally and all that stuff, that’s something, as I’ve said (before), that there’s gonna be consequences for that for a long time. That’s life.”

Swinney also said both players have faced internal discipline.

Davis’ vehicle was going 115 mph when he first applied his brakes 2.8 seconds before the collision, according to the lawsuit. Davis ultimately collided with the rear of Alvarez’s vehicle at 70 mph, according to a Clemson police report.

As a result of the crash, Alvarez, a U.S. Mail carrier, “sustained serious, severe, and permanent injuries including fractures of her skull, spine, pelvis, rib, and clavicle,” according to the lawsuit filed Wednesday morning in Pickens County Common Pleas Court.

The Pickens County Common Pleas Court is a form of civil court, which tries cases without charges involved. There are no current charges against Davis or Greene in Wednesday’s lawsuit, the Pickens County clerk of the court office told The State.

Greenville-based attorney David R. Price Jr. is representing Alvarez in the lawsuit that demands “actual and punitive damages in an amount to be determined” by a trial by jury. The lawsuit filed against Davis and Greene was first reported by Riley Morningstar of The (Seneca) Journal.

“Our law firm maintains that all people are accountable for the harms they cause to other people, and we stand by our pleadings and look forward to our client’s day in court,” Price’s office said Wednesday in a statement released on behalf of Alvarez. “Any additional comment would not be appropriate under our Rules.”

Swinney on Wednesday described the crash as a “sad situation.”

“Somebody almost lost their life,” he said. “They’re really fortunate that the lady involved survived because she’s got a lot of challenges. Again, I don’t think anybody’s surprised that now this will play out on the civil side.”

Davis, a junior cornerback for the Tigers, was arrested and charged with reckless driving last summer following the accident, The State previously reported.

Swinney last August said that Davis would face internal discipline and have to deal with “lots of consequences ... for a long, long time” after the charge.

Greene wasn’t publicly alleged as being involved in the 2021 crash until Wednesday, but Swinney said the program has “known the details since it happened” last July.

Davis played in nine of 13 games in 2021, missing three with an ankle injury. So far in 2022, he’s played in five games and started four at cornerback for the Tigers.

Greene, a junior defensive back, played in 10 of 13 games in 2021. So far in 2022, he’s played in three games and started one. Greene has missed Clemson’s last two games with an undisclosed injury.

“All that stuff’s been dealt with internally,” Swinney said. “Obviously, Fred has had a lot of public consequences as well, but from a legal standpoint and a team standpoint all of that is behind us. This is a civil situation that they’re just going to have to deal with. It’s a personal thing they have to deal with. Again, consequences for actions and decisions.”

©2022 The Charlotte Observer. Visit charlotteobserver.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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