Running community grieves Moore tragedy, offers support

Kyle Phillips / Tbe Transcript

Mourners look at a memorial set up Tuesday for those killed and injured in a hit-and-run incident on Main Street in front of Moore High School.

MOORE, Okla. — A third Moore High School student — senior Kolby Crum — has died nearly two weeks after a fatal hit-and-run near the school.

Crum's friends and family announced his death Saturday morning via Facebook, where they have been posting updates on his condition since Feb. 3.

"It is with immeasurable grief and sorrow that we share that Kolby left his earthly home to finish his race in heaven this morning," Saturday's post reads. "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."

Crum is the third Moore High School student athlete to die after the Feb. 3 hit-and-run that also injured three other students. As track and cross country athletes ran near the school that day, 57-year-old Max Leroy Townsend drove into some of the runners at 65-70 miles per hour, according to police.

Moore High School senior Rachel Freeman died at the scene, while sophomore Yuridia Martinez died the next morning in the hospital. Three other students — Joseph White, Shiloh Hutchison and Ashton Baza — were injured, but have been released from the hospital over the last two weeks. 

Even after Crum was hit and severely injured, he told students at the scene who were attempting to administer CPR that they should focus on other victims first, Moore Public Schools Superintendent Robert Romines said last week.

According to the "Prayers for Kolby" Facebook page, Crum sustained a traumatic brain injury, collapsed lungs and some broken bones and suffered several strokes while hospitalized. A GoFundMe page has been set up to cover his medical expenses. 

Townsend has been charged with two counts of manslaughter, two counts of leaving the scene of a fatality accident, four counts of driving under the influence causing great bodily harm and five counts of leaving the scene of an accident involving injury. Police at the scene indicated Townsend had "several" indicators that he was intoxicated at the time of the incident.

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Keith writes for The Norman Transcript, a CNHI LLC publication.

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