A collegiate cross country runner was killed and two of his teammates were injured when they were struck by an alleged drunken driver on Thursday night while running in Virginia, police said.
Eli Cramer, 20, a sophomore at Milligan University in Tennessee, died in the crash on a road near Williamsburg around 6 p.m. on Thursday, according to a statement by the university.
Seniors Eli Baldy and Alex Mortimer, two other members of the track and field team at the private Christian university, were injured in the crash. Baldy was treated for his injuries at Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center and released.
Mortimer, who is a graduate student in ministry at the university, said in a Facebook video from his hospital bed on Thursday night that he suffered a broken leg and a dislocated shoulder.
He underwent surgery and was in stable condition, according to the university.
"I want to exhort and thank all of you all for praying for me and for the Milligan team and for the university," Mortimer said in the video. "I want to say that moments like this make you realize what is and is not important in your life, and my exhortation to our school tonight from Williamsburg, Virginia, is do not forsake or discount the beauty and gift of life. It is like a vapor and it flashes before our eyes."
The three victims were part of a group of five runners who were out running on Williamsburg Pottery Road on Thursday, according to the Virginia State Police.
The driver of the Toyota Scion who hit the runners fled the scene before crashing into a median on nearby Route 199, police said.
Jose Efrain Hernandez Mancia, 26, of Williamsburg, was arrested and charged with DUI-1st offense, DUI-involuntary manslaughter, one felony count of hit and run, reckless driving, DUI-maiming and DUI refusal to submit a breath/blood sample, according to NBC affiliate WCYB. The crash remains under investigation.
Cramer was a business administration major from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, who was part of Milligan's first NAIA national championship cross country team in November. He finished third among the team's runners and 20th overall to help them bring home the title.
"Eli Cramer was our friend, classmate and teammate," Milligan University student government president Chase McGlamery said in a statement. "Above all, Cramer was a stranger to no one. He held a contagious energy that was integral to his team and our campus community.
"Like many of you, I shared classes and countless laughs with him," he continued. "He was the type of person that always brightened your day. Cramer was a man who knew when to put his head down and work or when to steal the room with a sarcastic comment. Cramer was one of the best, but he never looked down on anyone. He saw people for people and loved them for who they were."