Remembering Eli Cramer: Tributes pour in for former Riverdale High School track star

Eli Cramer
Posted at 10:05 PM, Apr 01, 2022

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WTVF) — Twenty-year-old Eli Cramer — a sophomore at Milligan University and former Riverdale High School track star — was killed Thursday when he was struck by a car while running in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Five members of Milligan University's men's track and field team were preparing for a weekend race. Cramer and two other runners were hit by Jose Efrain Hernandez Mancia, according to investigators.

Police said Mancia tried to flee the scene but crashed into a median. The 26-year-old is charged with multiple DUI counts.

Seniors Alex Mortimer and Eli Baldy are the two other runners who were hit. The university said they are recovering with Mortimer posting this video from his hospital bed.

"I was just informed that it seems the worst of my injuries is my broken leg and a dislocated shoulder. I want to exhort and thank all of you for praying for me, for the Milligan team, and for the university as an institution," Mortimer said in a video shared by the university.

Riverdale High School tweeted out this statement saying in part, "We send our deepest condolences and prayers to Eli's family."

Riverdale High School track and field coach, Rickey Field, said Cramer was an outstanding athlete and an even better person.

"As a person he always had a smile on his face. Very charismatic, very funny, and he just grew on you as a person," Field said.

At a press conference Friday morning, Milligan University President Bill Greer said, "Words cannot express the grief that flowed across this campus and throughout the Milligan family around the world when we heard the news that one of our own, sophomore Eli Cramer, had been killed."

In the wake of tragedy, the university is providing students with resources including:

  • Seeger Chapel open and available for those who are seeking a place for solitude and quiet prayer. Milligan faculty and staff present.
  • Counseling Center open 10 a.m.-4 p.m.on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Crisis Response personnel from Frontier Health will be in the Student Center today from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.
  • Counseling faculty members will be available at residence halls Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.