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Three Life Sentences for Man Who Crashed into HS Runners

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An Oklahoma man was sentenced Thursday to three life sentences for crashing into a high school cross country team last year.

According to The Associated Press, Cleveland County District judge Lori Walkley ordered Max Leroy Townsend to consecutive life sentences. The 58-year-old was convicted of crashing his pickup truck into members of the Moore High School cross country team on Feb. 3, 2020.

“There's not enough years that I can give Mr. Townsend," Walkley said. “While the trial was difficult, today was not."

Prosecutors said Townsend accelerated his pickup truck to 77 miles per hour before crashing into the runners, who had been running on the sidewalk near Eastern Avenue and Main Street in Moore.

Kolby Crum, Rachel Freeman and Yuridia Martinez died after the accident, while three more runners were hospitalized.

“These three children were wonderful children whose futures were so bright," prosecutor Jennifer Austin said. “He left them there, all those children, on the ground. He left them there as he tried to flee."

The AP reported that Kevin Butler, Townsend’s attorney, said that Townsend was unconscious at the time of the accident. Authorities said the truck crossed two lanes of traffic, veered onto the sidewalk and crashed.

Related content: Fatal Crash Strikes Cross-Country Team While Running

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