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Mother of teen calls fatal wreck 'senseless'

Posted July 13, 2008
Updated July 14, 2008

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— The mother of a Chapel Hill teenager who died in a car crash Saturday morning says the crash was "senseless."

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

The 1991 Honda car Mani was riding in was going north on Glenwood Avenue toward Pinecrest Drive.

Justin Caleb Crouse, 19, of 4612 Limerick Drive in Raleigh, was driving a 2008 Ford passenger car south on Lynn Road and preparing to make a left turn onto Glenwood Avenue. He lost control and the Ford slammed into the passenger side of the Honda head-on, according to the wreck report.

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

"It was senseless. It was totally senseless and random,” Elizabeth Manis said of her daughter's death. "When you get the police knock on your door and it's your worst fear come true, you feel like someone has just ripped you apart."

Crouse, who authorities say had been drinking alcohol prior to the crash, was also taken to WakeMed. He was treated for non-life threatening injuries.

“She had the insight and the ability to change the world, and if not change the world, just make it more beautiful because of her artwork," Elizabeth Manis said.

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

Police charged Crouse with driving while impaired, felony death by vehicle, provisional driving while impaired and a red-light violation, according to the wreck report.

Crouse was released from jail Saturday evening on a $50,000 bond.

A woman told WRAL News Sunday afternoon that she saw Crouse about two hours before the wreck. She said she was concerned about his drinking and driving to the extent that she called 911 around 3:30 a.m. to warn authorities he was on the road.

She said she gave dispatchers information about Crouse's car and the location he was driving.

Authorities had not commented on the woman's statement as of Sunday evening.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • bjgibala Jul 14, 2008

    I posted on the other article but I'll put it here as well.
    They were out to see a showing of Rocky Horror Picture show. RHPS is a huge cult movie if you aren't familiar with it and is shown at midnight and is probably about 1.5-2hrs long. From what I've heard the time of accident was closer to 3.

    @anyone who says the Drunk Driver should be punished with death.

    that's ridiculous...

    he's 19 years old and made a mistake. yes, it's a big one, but how rude and indifferent of a person do you have to be to say that he should lose his life as well. One death is too many. Please don't use a open forum of discussion to spread bad thoughts and feelings. Just because you CAN say something doesn't mean you Have to say it. Especially when it's ignorant and hurtful.

  • Tired of your excuses Jul 14, 2008

    Why in the world were these children out at that time of night/morning? If you are out past midnight, then you are probably doing something you shouldn't be doing anyway. Praying that these families will have peace fall upon them.

  • Not a fan of roses Jul 14, 2008

    How about instead of saying they were out late...maybe they got up early?

  • delilahk2000 Jul 14, 2008


  • Dr. Dataclerk Jul 14, 2008

    This guy is a tool for driving drunk. But why did she get in a car driven by a drunk driver?

    What are you chatting about? This above comment did not happen. Go back to your resources and reread again. You are wrong. She was riding in a car with her boyfriend and she got killed. A drunk driver hit their car. Get your facts straight, buddy. The drunk driver was all alone in his car. Boy, some of you really know how to turn things around and stretch it. Whee!

  • JuanGrande v3.0 Jul 14, 2008

    This guy is a tool for driving drunk. But why did she get in a car driven by a drunk driver?

  • YeaOh Jul 14, 2008

    My money is on this guy striking again while out on bail.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Jul 14, 2008

    When you really don't know, then you should leave it alone. Right. Asseumptions are just what they are.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Jul 14, 2008

    Tom Morrow thanks.

  • merrywidow Jul 14, 2008

    The reason those two 17 year olds WERE out at that time is moot.