DUI suspect arrested after Williamsburg hit & run that killed a Milligan University student, seriously injured others

Eli Cramer.PNG
Posted at 10:31 PM, Mar 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-01 17:30:23-04

YORK Co., Va. - Virginia State Police have arrested the driver of the vehicle that performed a hit and run that killed one and injured others Thursday night.

26-year-old Jose Efrain Hernandez Mancia was taken to the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail and was charged with the following;

  • DUI - 1st offense
  • DUI - Involuntary Manslaughter
  • Felony Hit and Run
  • Reckless Driving
  • DUI Maiming
  • Refusal - DUI

Mancia was found to be intoxicated and was placed under arrest for DUI, according to State Police.

Authorities said he refused to further testing, and was taken to Riverside Doctors Hospital where a search warrant was executed for a sample of his blood to determine the level of intoxication.

Earlier Thursday, Virginia State Police also told News 3 they were investigating a crash involving two pedestrians at the intersection of Lightfoot and Williamsburg Pottery Roads that happened at 6:02 p.m. They said the crash resulted in serious injuries.

According to a press release from Milligan University, four student runners and an assistant coach were on a practice run when Mancia hit them with his vehicle. Of the five people involved, three students were hit and one, Eli Cramer, died from his injuries.

Eli Baldy and Alex Mortimer were injured and sent to the hospital. Mortimer is still undergoing treatment, and Baldy was treated and released.

Eli Cramer.PNG
Eli Cramer

Mancia fled the scene, continuing down Williamsburg Pottery Road.

Officials found the driver of the sedan shortly after he crashed into the median on Route 199 and took him into custody.

The Virginia State Police Accident Reconstruction Team was called in to assist in the investigation, along with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Commonwealth's Attorney.

State police say the crime is still being investigated.

Milligan University said its team will leave Williamsburg later Friday. Milligan’s other athletic events scheduled for today have been postponed, and classes were canceled at the university.

Eli Cramer, Eli Baldy, and Alex Mortimer.
Eli Cramer, Eli Baldy, and Alex Mortimer.

"We covet your prayers during this difficult time, especially for the Cramer family," the university wrote.

Chase McGlamery, Milligan University's student government president, released the following statement calling Cramer a friend, classmate, teammate and "stranger to no one."

The past 24 hours have been unimaginable for our campus and have left a hole in our community. 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. Like many of you, I shared classes and countless laughs with him. 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.

Words cannot adequately describe the sorrow and heartbreak that is flowing rampantly across our campus today. The next few days and coming weeks will bring a great deal of emotion and heartache for Cramer’s teammates, friends, family and our entire community.

We are one family at Milligan and now a part of us is forever missing. This tragedy reminds us how short and fragile our lives are. Life will always be ready to catch us off guard, storms will come and go, and trouble will always find its way into our lives. But, it’s how we respond to times of trouble that define who we are.

Finding people to share our lives with, people who show up day after day and people we trust, is rare. Yet somehow, we found an entire campus full of people ready to stand with us when we need it the most, and that time is now.

God has always had a special plan for Cramer since the beginning of his life. I think we could all speak to what he has meant in our own personal lives, but for me, Cramer was a friend. He was someone who pushed others to be the best versions of themselves and someone who brought light to any dark day.

I know we are all filled with questions and disbelief, but I hope that we can all find some peace in knowing that through all of this, we have each other. We all want to make sense of the pain and the hurt. We want there to be a purpose. God is still in control and is working inside each and every one of us.

Over the next several weeks, we must continue to show up for each other, love each other, and continue to be the Milligan family from last night’s prayer gathering. We must live fully and love deeply right now; Cramer would have wanted this. As hard as it is to process what has happened, we will get through this together with God’s timing.

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.

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.

Hold on to each other tightly today and every day. Take care of one another.

The College of William & Mary also expressed condolences in a statement.

"Our deepest sympathies are with the entire Milligan University community and all affected by the tragic accident involving members of their Track & Field team on Thursday afternoon. We are in close contact with the program's administration, coaches and student-athletes and have made a range of university resources available to those in need."

On Friday a student remembered Cramer, saying, “Cramer never knew a stranger, he was the bubbly, happy-go-lucky person that everyone on this campus knew and loved deeply."

Another student said, “He affected communities, he was influential, his laughter was contagious. He loved two things more than anything, and that was to run and to laugh."

Milligan University is a private Christian university in Millgan College, Tennessee. The track & field team has a meet in the area at 9 a.m. Friday.

Authorities have notified Cramer's family members as well as the family of the other team members involved in the crash.

Stay with News 3 for updates.