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Raleigh police looking at 911 calls in fatal wreck

Callers expressed concern about a motorist driving erratically in the minutes before Lillian "Lilli" Manis was killed Saturday morning.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Raleigh police had been searching for a man believed to be drunk when he allegedly collided with another car early Saturday morning, killing a Chapel Hill teenager, according to 911 calls released Monday.

Wake County 911 received a call at about 3:21 a.m. from a woman concerned  that Justin Caleb Crouse, 19, might have been drinking with friends before taking off in his car.

"There is a young gentleman who is very intoxicated about to drive from my neighborhood," the caller said. "I don't have the license plate number, but I can tell you it's a white Ford Fusion."

Less than two hours later, police said, Crouse was driving on Lynn Road near Glenwood Avenue when he lost control of his vehicle and struck another car.

Lillian "Lilli" Broox Manis, 17, and her boyfriend, Philip Iavorov Jurov, 17, of Durham, were taken to WakeMed, where Manis was pronounced dead. Jurov was listed in fair condition Monday.

Police are also looking into reports from other motorists who called 911 about someone driving erratically around the time of the wreck, including one call from four minutes before the wreck.

"It's driving down Lynn Road, doing about 90 mph and almost hit another car head-on and almost sideswiped two or three cars," the caller said. "They were headed toward Glenwood Avenue."

A third 911 call minutes later is from a cab driver reporting that she drove past the accident scene.

"There's one car overturned. And the other one – just – somebody took off, I don't know," the caller said. "There's a car that's overturned."

Crouse made his first appearance in Wake County District Court Monday on charges of felony death by motor vehicle, driving while impaired and provisional DWI. Blood alcohol test results were pending Monday afternoon.

Also in court were the victim's parents, who said they wanted to make sure their daughter is not forgotten.

"I want to make sure he realizes what he's done," Elizabeth Manis said.

Crouse was out of jail on $50,000 bond and had no comment as he left court Monday. But Elizabeth Manis did make contact with Crouse's father.

"I turned around to him and I said, 'He killed my daughter,'" she said. "And he said, 'I'm sorry.' But you know, 'sorry' doesn't cut it."

Lilli Manis was a 2008 graduate of Chapel Hill High School and planned to attend Earlham College in Indiana this fall, her parents said.

A memorial service is tentatively planned for 1 p.m. Saturday at the Chapel Hill Friends Meeting, 531 Raleigh Road, Chapel Hill.


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