Opening statements begin in trial of man accused of driving into Moore High School cross country team

News
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – It’s been over a year since three Moore High School students tragically lost their lives when a pickup slammed into them during cross country practice. The man behind the wheel, Max Townsend, has been charged with three counts of second- degree murder and fleeing the scene of an accident.  

He pleaded not guilty to each count.

Jury selection finished up on Wednesday afternoon in Cleveland County, with opening statements taking place shortly after. The courtroom then emotional as a parent from each of the victims who were killed took the stand.

The crash killed 16-year-old Yuridia Martinez, 17-year-old Rachel Freeman and 18-year-old Kolby Crum and injuring 4 others.

The state argued Townsend “did not care if he hurt someone.” And acted with “imminently dangerous conduct.” 

Saying he had alcohol and THC in his system when his truck plowed into the kids at 77 miles-per-hour.

The state said, “just steps into their run that day, this defendant changed all of their lives forever.” Comparing the crash scene to a war movie or a horror movie.

But the defense argues Townsend was unconscious during the crash.

They say he was grieving the death of his own son— who had died in a car accident the day before. 

The defense also said Townsend drove from Muskogee to Moore that day to plan his son’s funeral. And during the trip, he drove the speed limit– with cell phone towers pinging his route.

The crash happened within a mile of son’s home.

Townsend’s attorney says just before the crash he had taken a drink of Red Bull and “got choked” and “fell unconscious.” 

He said he did not know he hit anyone.

His attorney also said Townsend “never made any attempts to leave that scene.” And “did not have a depraved mind due to THC or alcohol or anything else.”

KFOR’s redesigned news and weather app is here! Download for Apple or Android and be sure to sign up for alerts that are important to you.

Before recessing for the day, Yuridia, Kolby and Rachel’s moms all took the stand – describing the moments after hearing their children were fatally injured – many fighting back tears.

News 4 was told neither the defense nor the state wants to comment until after trial is over. Trial will pick back up Thursday morning at 8:30.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest News

More News

Pay it 4Ward

More Pay It 4ward

National News

More U.S. & World

Washington D.C.

More Washington

Your Local Election HQ

More Your Local Election HQ

Trending

Daily Oklahoma Coronavirus Data

Contact In Your Corner Team

Latest News

More News

SCAN ME: KFOR App QR Code

image of QR Code

KFOR Digital Originals

More Digital Original

Follow @KFOR on Twitter