Two people are now dead after a pick-up truck hit six students on Monday, outside of a high school in Oklahoma in what police called a “serious accident.”
Sgt. Jeremy Lewis, a spokesperson for the Moore Police Department, told TIME that the students were struck outside the Moore High School in Moore, Okla., at about 3:30 p.m on Monday. Authorities say that the students were cross country and track runners outside practicing when the accident happened.
During a Tuesday morning press conference, authorities said that sophomore student Yurudia Martinez died from her injuries. High school senior Rachel Freeman died yesterday at the scene.
Three remaining students are still in the hospital receiving treatment. Another student was released from the hospital yesterday after suffering a broken leg and ankle.
“My ask is to keep our students, our staff and our families in your thoughts and prayers,” Dr. Robert Romines, the Superintendent of the Moore School District said at the Tuesday press conference. “We’re trying to process this unthinkable tragedy.”
Police have identified the pick-up truck’s driver as Max Leroy Townsend, 57. Townsend is in custody and faces one count of murder and non-negligent manslaughter and six counts of leaving the scene of an accident involving injury, according to jail records.
“There were a lot of students there when we arrived,” Sgt. Lewis said at the Monday press conference. “A lot of students witnessed the actual crash and were on scene when we arrived. Some of those actually pointed out the direction where the vehicle continued on.”
Townsend was arrested about four or five blocks away from the scene, Lewis said. He added that the suspect hit other vehicles before and after he hit the students. Police suspect Townsend — whose 29-year-old son, Cody Townsend, died in a driving accident over the weekend — may have been under the influence of alcohol, but a toxicology report is pending, according to the Associated Press.
Lewis says it’s unclear if it was an intentional act by the suspect. He added that the charges can likely change as the conditions of the victims change.
“This evening and as we move forward through this unthinkable tragedy – please keep our students, staff, and families in your thoughts and prayers,” Moore Public Schools shared on Facebook.
Dustin Horstkoetter, the Director of Safety and Security for the Moore Public School District said to see kids and coaches helping injured students is a testament to the kind of community they live in.
“We’re going to get through it, we’ve gotten through a lot in the past,” Horstkoetter said at the press conference. “This community is strong and we’re resilient.”
- Donald Trump Was Just Indicted. Here's What to Know About the Charges and the Case
- What Could Happen Next for Donald Trump
- Trump's Indictment Drama Showcased His Rivals' Weakness
- Inside Ukraine's Push to Try Putin For War Crimes
- Bad Bunny's Next Move
- Elon Musk Signs Open Letter Urging AI Labs to Pump the Brakes
- Eliezer Yudkowsky: Pausing AI Developments Isn't Enough. We Need to Shut it All Down
- 'How Is This Still Happening?' A Survivor Questions America's Gun Violence Problem
- Cheryl Strayed Will Always Be Here for You
- Who Should Be on the 2023 TIME100? Vote Now