Moore auto-ped driver receives another manslaughter charge after third student dies from injuries

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MOORE, Okla. (KFOR) – An Oklahoma man is facing updated manslaughter charges following the death of another high school cross country runner in Moore.

On Feb. 3, 57-year-old Max Townsend drove his truck into a group of cross country runners from Moore High School.

Rachel Freeman died just feet away from the school after being hit.

Officials say Yuridia Martinez, a sophomore, also died from injuries she sustained in the crash.

A week after the crash, Townsend was charged with 13 counts in Cleveland County District Court.

At the time, Townsend was facing two counts of first-degree manslaughter, two counts of leaving the scene of a fatality accident, and driving under the influence with a blood alcohol content of .08 or more.

He is also charged with three counts of driving under the influence resulting in great bodily injury, and five counts of leaving the scene of an injury accident.

Online court records indicate that Townsend is facing updated charges following the death of Kolby Crum.

On Saturday, officials announced that Crum also died from his injuries.

“It is with immeasurable grief and sorrow that we share that Kolby left his earthly home to finish his race in heaven this morning. He impacted the lives around him in positive ways every day. He is so loved by so many and will be deeply missed. Please pray for peace that surpasses all understanding for his family and friends as they grieve the tremendous and devastating loss of this precious young man. Please pray on. #heartofalion.”

Prayers for Kolby Facebook page

Kolby's mom sent News 4 this statement:

“Although we are sad and miss Kolby, we take comfort in knowing that he made a positive impact on people's lives. He was kind, hard-working, put others before himself and wanted to bring joy to others. I am very lucky to have had him as my son.”

Tansey Hellbusch

Following Crum’s death, Townsend is now facing an additional count of manslaughter and an additional count of leaving the scene of a fatality accident.

His total charges now include: 

  1. Three counts of first-degree manslaughter
  2. Three counts of leaving the scene of a fatality accident 
  3. Three counts of DUI - Great Bodily Injury
  4. Four counts of leaving the scene of an accident involving injury

“Three counts of leaving the scene of a fatality accident, which you know, with three victims, in this case, he left the scene of all three and didn’t render aid like you are required to under law,” said Mashburn. 

Townsend is expected back in court for another preliminary hearing conference, March 24th. 

"I always tell our families it's a marathon, not a sprint, it's a long process there will be up and downs it's a roller coaster ride and we'll be there to help guide them through," said Greg Mashburn the Cleveland Co. District Attorney. "We're here and we're gonna handle this part of it, they need to take care of their families, and focus on themselves and healing where they can and know that we've got this end of it." 

Mashburn says they've continued looking into Townsend's past. 

“Because they were older felony convictions they’re not likely to be used to enhance the punishment, but I’ll certainly be able to use that in determined what sentence is appropriate for this defendant,” said Mashburn. 

Officials believe Townsend's preliminary hearing will be in May or June.


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