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Driver arrested for killing college cross country runner before meet

Posted at 9:14 AM, Apr 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-01 16:52:14-04

YORK COUNTY, Va. -- Police arrested the driver now charged with killing Milligan University cross country runner Eli Cramer and injuring his teammates.

Jose Efrain Hernandez Mancia, 26, of Williamsburg, was driving the red Toyota Scion that struck the runners on private property along Williamsburg Pottery Road near the Lightfoot Road intersection on Thursday, according to Virginia State Police.

"Mancia, fled the scene, continued down the road, and proceeded to get onto Route 199, where he then crashed the vehicle into the median. Mancia then exited the vehicle, and a bystander that had stopped, rendered aid," Virginia State Police spokesperson Sgt. Michelle Anaya wrote. "Mancia was found to be intoxicated and was placed under arrest for DUI."

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Jose Efrain Hernandez Mancia

When he refused testing, Mancia was taken to Riverside Doctors Hospital where blood was drawn to determine his "level of intoxication," police said.

While Mancia sits in jail charged with DUI - involuntary manslaughter, felony hit and run, reckless driving, DUI maiming, and refusing a DUI test, the Milligan University campus is in mourning.

"The past 24 hours have been unimaginable for our campus and have left a hole in our community," Student Government President Chase McGlamery wrote in a message posted on the university's website. "Eli Cramer was our friend, classmate and teammate. Above all, Cramer was a stranger to no one. He held a contagious energy that was integral to his team and our campus community."

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Eli Cramer

Milligan is a 1,300-student private university in Elizabethton, Tennessee, about 25 miles from Bristol, Virginia.

Cramer and his team were in Williamsburg for a track meet.

"Because we live on this side of life, where we’re always saying goodbye, our pain today may feel unbearable. However, I’m sure Cramer already has found his place in Heaven and is planning to meet us again someday," McGlamery's message continued. "Please continue to pray for Cramer’s family as they begin to make sense of yesterday’s tragedy. Pray for our entire cross country/track & field team, their coaches and our entire community. I also ask that you continue to lift seniors Alex Mortimer and Eli Baldy up in prayer as they and their families begin to recover and make sense of what has happened."

The crash remains under investigation.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip.

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