Wednesday marks one year since the Moore High School community was shaken after three students were hit and killed by an alleged drunk driver during cross country practice.
Seven Moore cross country students were running on the sidewalk near the high school. That’s when police say the suspect, Max Townsend, was driving 80 miles-per-hour, drove up on the sidewalk, and plowed through the runners. Officers say he eventually stopped a couple of blocks away.
Investigators say Townsend was driving drunk. They say he was upset over his own son’s death from a hit-and-run crash.
“It’s our allegations that he spent the rest of the day drinking and mourning the loss of his son that had passed away the day before,” said the Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn.
“There was no indication of braking,” said Sergeant Jeremy Lewis with Moore Police. “There is evidence that he accelerated at a certain point.”
“That’s the one thing I do remember, is hearing the engine rev really loud,” said survivor Joseph White.
Student Rachel Freeman died at the scene. Yuridia Martinez and Kolby Crum later died at the hospital.
School leaders say more than 50 students and staff witnessed the aftermath and rushed to help.
“Without hesitation or second thought, our students were there with their friends to begin lifesaving tactics including CPR of the runners that were there,” said Moore Superintendent Dr. Robert Romines. “Their actions were short of heroic.”
“I mean, I honestly don’t think I would still be alive if it wasn’t for my teammates rushing over to help me,” said White.
Right now, Max Townsend is facing 10 charges, including three counts of second-degree murder and seven charges for leaving the scene.
“If everybody will keep an open mind,” said Townsend’s defense attorney Kevin Butler. “Our hope is that the evidence will come out and there will be a resolve to this matter that is favorable to Mr. Townsend.”
So far, a trial date has not been set.