Hit-and-run driver strikes six high school students, killing one; suspect in custody – National News


kali9/iStock(MOORE, Okla.) — Six high school athletes were struck by a car in Moore, Okla., Monday afternoon, leaving one dead and three in critical condition, according to police.

The suspect, identified as 57-year-old Max Leroy Townsend, was driving a red pickup truck when he crashed into multiple vehicles and students. Townsend did not stop after hitting the students but was apprehended shortly after the incident, police said.

Townsend’s 28-year-old son was killed Sunday in a car accident, the location of which was close to Monday’s scene, according to Moore Police Sgt. Jeremy Lewis.

Members of the Moore High School cross country and track team were running on the sidewalk when they were struck, according to the school district.

The student who died at the scene was identified as senior Rachel Freeman. The five injured are Ashton Baza, Kolby Crum, Shiloh Hutchinson, Yuridia Martinez and Joseph White, according to the district.

Many students were the first to call 911 and help their fellow classmates, police said.

“We got special people that live and go to school here in Moore,” Dustin Horstkoetter, a director with the school district, said Monday at a press conference. “And to see kids and coaches giving first aid and helping their classmates and their students … we live a good community.”

Towsend was arrested for first-degree manslaughter and multiple counts of leaving the scene of an injury accident.

A motive is not known.

“As we move forward through this unthinkable tragedy – please keep our students, staff, and families in your thoughts and prayers,” district officials said in a statement Monday night. “Our deepest condolences are with the Freeman family during this time.”

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