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Family: Driver took someone special from the world

Posted July 12, 2008
Updated July 14, 2008

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— Family members of a Chapel Hill teenager who died in a car crash Saturday morning say the driver who police say caused the crash has taken away their heart.

Lillian “Lilli” Manis, 17, died just before 5 a.m. at Glenwood and Lynn Road as she rode in a car with her boyfriend, Philip Iavorov Jurov, 17, of Durham.

Authorities say that Justin Caleb Crouse, 19, of 4612 Limerick Drive in Raleigh, who was driving another car, caused the wreck.

Manis was riding in a 1991 Honda, driven by her boyfriend, going north on Glenwood towards Pinecrest Drive. Jurov had a green light at the Lynn Road intersection, according to the wreck report.

Crouse was driving a 2008 Ford passenger car south on Lynn Road and preparing to make a left turn onto Glenwood. He lost control of the car, and it ran off the right side of the road, deflating its right-side tires.

The Ford traveled 147 feet and entered Glenwood, striking the passenger side of the Honda head-on at 50 mph, according to the wreck report.

The Honda ran off the left side of the road and overturned, coming to rest against an embankment approximately 25 feet from the road.

Jurov and Manis were trapped inside the Honda. Both were transported to WakeMed. Manis was pronounced dead at the hospital, and Jurov sustained serious injuries. He was listed Sunday in fair condition.

Crouse was also taken to WakeMed, where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Crouse faces charges of driving while impaired, felony death by vehicle, provisional driving while impaired and a red-light violation, according to the wreck report.

Elizabeth Manis, Lilli Manis's mother, said Crouse has taken someone very special from the world.

The teen had recently graduated from Chapel Hill High School and planned to attend Earlham College in Indiana this fall to study Asian Studies and art.

She is survived by her parents, Paul and Elizabeth Manis, and her younger brother, Cameron. Lilli would have turned 18 in about a month.


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