Two Oklahoma high school cross country runners killed after being hit by truck; four teammates hurt

Tim Willert and Josh Dulaney The Oklahoman Published 2:43 PM EST Feb 4, 2020 MOORE, Okla. — A second student has died in the aftermath of Monday’s vehicle crash in which a pickup truck struck several runners near Moore High School.

Yuridia Martinez, a sophomore, died from her injuries Tuesday less than 24 hours after the pickup truck, driven by Max Leroy Townsend, 57, hit a group of six cross country runners around 3:30 p.m, killing one at the scene and sending the others to the hospital.  Rachel Freeman, a 17-year-old senior, died Monday.  Officials said the other students injured were Shiloh Hutchinson, a junior who underwent surgery for a broken arm and a broken leg; Joseph White, a senior who is no longer in critical condition but remains hospitalized; Kolby Crum, a senior who remains in critical condition, and Ashton Baza, a sophomore who was released after being treated for a broken leg and a broken ankle. 

The students were running on the sidewalk when they were hit, Moore superintendent Robert Romines said. Townsend was being held Tuesday at the Cleveland County Detention Center on one complaint of manslaughter and six complaints of leaving the scene of an accident involving injury. The area speed limit is 25 mph.

Police Sgt. Jeremy Lewis said “The injuries would indicate he was going faster than the speed limit.” Police said Townsend’s 29-year-old son, Cody Townsend, was killed Sunday after he rear-ended another vehicle.

Between 150 and 200 students witnessed the wreck, school officials said. “A lot of students witnessed the actual crash and were on the scene when we arrived,” Lewis said. “Some of those actually pointed out the direction the vehicle continued on, which helped us locate the vehicle.” Dustin Horstkoetter, safety director for Moore Public Schools, said the 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.”

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