Parents Of Moore High School Senior Killed Remember, Honor Daughter
The parents of a 17-year-old girl killed on Monday is telling her story.
The cross-county runner was the first confirmed death following a horrific hit-and-run involving multiple victims near Moore High School.
Rachel Freeman's story is one of endurance.
Her parents said she loved God, her friends and lived with an amazing amount of courage.
“I would love my daughter to be remembered exactly how everybody knew her,” said Jody Freeman, Rachel’s mother. “With that contagious smile, and her loving spirit, but also Rachel’s leadership.”
Rachel Freeman was a born leader, a playful sister and a young girl with a bright future.
On Monday, she and her cross-country teammates were jogging down a sidewalk near Moore High School when a pickup jumped the curb and hit six of them.
“There is no way to process that information in the moment. Your mind just screams out in shock. It's not real. The reality didn't set in for an hour or so really,” said Michael Freeman, Rachel’s father.
Rachel's mother was already at school when the crash happened.
She said she was there to pick up her son when a friend told her about the wreck.
Jody Freeman rushed toward the police tape, but was stopped by one of her daughter's coaches.
“He came up and just grabbed me, and hugged me. In my spirit, I knew that Rachel was gone because of the look on their faces,” Jody Freeman said.
They knew it was bad, and soon learned five other children were hit, including Rachel's boyfriend Joseph White.
Through tears and heartache, they said they have found strength in their faith.
“We know the power of prayer. We are living it. We are experiencing it,” Jody Freeman said. “These teammates, they are hurting, and I want to minister to them.”
A post by Rachel’s father has gone viral on Facebook.
Rachel was headed to college on an athletic and merit scholarship, but not anymore.
The man accused in her death, Max Townsend, was charged Friday in court.
He's accused of being drunk, hitting the six students and driving off.
“It's strange because I have not thought a lot about him in the last few days,” Michael Freeman said. “He really didn't hurt Rachel. Rachel is in heaven instantly. She likely never felt a thing. He hurt us.”
Her father said one day he might be able to forgive Townsend.
Right now, the family is focused on Rachel’s legacy, her friends and their families who will be forever changed.
They plan on dedicating some of Rachel’s life insurance money to establish a memorial in her honor.
“I want her life to be remembered as to how God brought her to us, and touched so many people's lives, and the good that is going to come from this. The situation is not good, but God promises as believers that all things will come together for the good,” Jody Freeman said.
Rachel's funeral will be at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 11, at the First Baptist Church of Moore, Oklahoma. Public viewing will be from 6 to 9 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 10, at the Ireland Funeral Home in Moore. All are welcome to attend.