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1 dead, 2 hurt after car hits cross country team in Virginia

Milligan University released these photos of Eli Cramer, Eli Baldy and Alex Mortimer, who were struck by a vehicle while running in Virginia.

Milligan University released these photos of Eli Cramer, Eli Baldy and Alex Mortimer, who were struck by a vehicle while running in Virginia.

Milligan University photo

One college athlete was killed and two others were hurt when a car collided with a group of cross country runners in Virginia.

It happened Thursday, March 31, and involved student athletes from Milligan University in northeast Tennessee, according to a release from Milligan University.

“We are incredibly shocked and saddened to share that members of our men’s cross country/track & field team were in an accident involving a vehicle this evening,” the university said in a release.

“Sophomore Eli Cramer succumbed to his injuries. Seniors Alex Mortimer and Eli Baldy also were injured. Mortimer currently is undergoing treatment. Baldy was treated and released.”

The team was in Williamsburg, Virginia, to compete in the 56th Annual Colonial Relays at William & Mary university, officials said. The competition is hosted by the William & Mary men’s track and field team.

Cramer, 20, was a business administration major from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, according to a website for the men’s track and field team.

Mortimore, 23, was hospitalized with a broken leg and dislocated shoulder. He is a ministry major from Lexington, Kentucky.

Baldy, 21, is a mechanical engineering major from Knoxville, Tennessee, the university reports. Details of his injuries were not released.

The three were running on Williamsburg Pottery Road with a fourth member of the team and a coach when they were struck, officials said.

“The driver fled the scene of the crash and was located shortly afterwards when he crashed into a median,” the university said in a release. “He was taken into custody, and according to police, was charged with DUI maiming and felony hit-and-run. The investigation is ongoing.”

Classes at Milligan were suspended April 1 “in light of the tremendous loss,” university officials said.

Cramer’s athletic accomplishments at Milligan included “being the third finisher on the 2021 national championship cross country team, (and) he was a two-time All-American and two-time All-AAC for cross country.”

“He also set a program record in the 8k,” school officials said.

The university “is a Christ-centered liberal arts university” with a 355-acre campus and more than “100 majors, minors and other degree offerings,” according to its website.

“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,” Student Government President Chase McGlamery said in a release.

“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.”

This story was originally published April 1, 2022 7:35 AM.

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Mark Price has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1991, covering beats including schools, crime, immigration, LGBTQ issues, homelessness and nonprofits. He graduated from the University of Memphis with majors in journalism and art history, and a minor in geology.