From the sidelines
By Marty Gordon
A motor accident with pedestrian injuries caught our attention this past week without many people knowing the connection.
A car in Williamsburg struck a group of Milligan University cross-country runners as they ran along a roadway, killing one and injuring several others.
20-year-old Eli Cramer was killed in the crash. The others were treated for injuries at a nearby medical facility.
Cramer was a sophomore business administration major from Murfreesboro who set two of the school’s all-time best times in the cross-country eight-kilometer and the indoor 5,000 meters.
He was part of three Appalachian Athletic Conference championship teams and was a two-time national qualifier in outdoor and indoor track in 2021 and 2022. Cramer was also part of the NAIA team national championships.
Injured in the incident were Eric Spaulding of Christiansburg, a member of the men’s team at the Tennessee school, and Katlyn Dominy of Auburn High School, a member of the girls’ team.
Milligan identified the two other runners struck by the car as seniors Alex Mortimer and Eli Baldy.
In a press conference Friday, Milligan officials said Baldy was treated for leg and foot injuries and released from the hospital on Thursday. Mortimer, meanwhile, suffered life-threatening injuries and underwent surgery. He has injuries to his shoulder and hips and a broken fibula. He also has bruised lungs and a concussion.
Milligan officials said Mortimer is stable and is expected to make a full recovery.
According to the Virginia State Police, 26-year-old Jose Efrain Hernandez Mancia of Williamsburg was charged in the incident.
He was charged with driving under the influence, DUI-involuntary manslaughter, felony hit-and-run, reckless driving, DUI-maiming and DUI refusal to submit a breath or blood sample.
Our hearts and minds go out to the Milligan family and two of our own local athletes.