A group of students walking outside Moore High School in Moore, Oklahoma, was struck by a red truck at 3:30 p.m. local time on February 3. The tragic incident left one female victim dead, the Moore Police Department reported. She was later identified as student Rachel Freeman.
Freeman, a senior at Moore High School and accomplished member of the MHS cross country team, was identified in a statement by Dr. Robert Romines, superintendent of Moore Public Schools.
Romines said, “Please keep our students, staff, and families in your thoughts and prayers. Our deepest sympathies are with the Freeman family during this time. Moore Public Schools Mental Health Therapists will be available and ready to assist students as they express their feelings and grieve.”
Romines also gave an update on the other victims hit in the tragic incident. “Our other five students that were injured are receiving medical attention: Yuridia Martinez, Joseph White, Kolby Crum, Shiloh Hutchison, and Ashton Baza.” On Tuesday, Dustin Horstkoetter, director of safety at Moore Public Schools, said sophomore Yuridia Martinez had also died.
Sergeant Jeremy Lewis announced police arrested suspect Max Leroy Townsend, 57. As reported by Peyton Yayer of KFOR News, Townsend is being charged with manslaughter in the first degree and six counts of leaving the scene of an injury accident. Lewis said the kids were hit at a very high rate of speed.
Max Leroy Townsend Has A Lengthy Rap Sheet
Townsend has been arrested numerous times dating back to 1991. He’s previously been charged with child abuse multiple times, possession of stolen property and possession of a controlled substance.
The suspect initially fled the scene in his vehicle, and KOCO 5 captured the red truck the suspect was driving on camera. Police arrested Townsend a few blocks away from the crash.
Police said Townsend’s 29-year-old son, Cody Townsend, was killed Sunday near Buck Thomas Park after he rear-ended another vehicle, as reported by The Oklahoman.
Dustin Horstkoetter, safety director for Moore Public Schools told reporters the student-athletes were on a group run. “To come around the corner and see kids and coaches give first aid and help their classmates and their students . . .” he said. “We live in a real good community. My heart is hurting and broken.”
Prayers For The Victims & Their Families Poured In On Social Media
Numerous people posted their thoughts and prayers to the Moore Police Department’s Facebook page after learning of the tragic crash, especially knowing Freeman’s and Matinez’s lives were taken during the hit and run.
According to Joleen Chaney of KFOR, two girls are being treated for broken bones. A third is being treated with a serious head injury. There hasn’t been an update on the fourth victim, but the community is sending thoughts prayers to everyone affected by the fatal incident.
Congressman Tom Cole, who represents Oklahoma’s Fourth District, tweeted, “I am stunned and deeply saddened by the tragedy that occurred today at Moore High School. My most sincere and heartfelt prayers are with the families, friends and loved ones of those who are hurting.”