Memorial Park

Visitors check out the memorial for Moore runners who were killed in a pedestrian auto wreck at Moore High School in 2020. Moore Public Schools Superintendent Robert Romines said the three life sentences given Thursday to Max Townsend will allow the community to move forward.

NORMAN — Thursday night following the sentencing of Max Townsend, who killed three Moore High School students, Moore Public Schools Superintendent Robert Romines released a statement mourning the loss of the three students and commending justice being served.

Townsend was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences making it nearly impossible he will ever get out of prison.

“[Townsend] is responsible for the deaths of our three Moore High School cross country runners — Rachel Freeman, Yuridia Martinez and Kolby Crum — after striking them with his truck on Feb. 3, 2020, while they finished their final run,” Romines said in a statement. “Three other MHS cross country runners suffered extensive injuries that took many months to heal, and countless others — staff included — are still healing from emotional scars.”

Romines commended District Judge Lori Walkley on her decision to ensure that Townsend never came up for parole and that he paid for the hurt he has caused the City of Moore.

“The Honorable Lori Walkley talked about the families who have lost so much, students and staff who were affected in our community, and how this community came together to take care of one another,” he said in the statement. “She also talked about the trial and how difficult it was to hear the testimonies from students, staff and emergency management personnel. However, she told Mr. Townsend that today’s decision was not difficult for her. She could not take a chance that he will ever come up for parole.”

The entire Moore community still mourns the loss of the three high school students and will for a long time, but Romines said this sentencing will allow the community the opportunity to move forward and honor their legacies.

“Our hearts will always ache with the Freeman, Martinez and Crum families for their massive losses, but I know our community, and we will continue to surround them in love and support as the heavy door of this phase begins to close and the door of hope begins to open again,” Romines said. “Please keep these precious families in your thoughts and/or prayers as they continue to move forward.

“The lives of our three runners have truly made a lasting impact on our community. We are now charged with carrying on the legacy of Rachel, Yuridia and Kolby.”

Reese Gorman covers politics and COVID-19 for The Transcript; reach him at rgorman@normantranscript.com or @reeseg_3.

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