Toby Keith Asks For ‘Prayers’ After ‘Terrible Tragedy’ Strikes His Hometown

Toby Keith; Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Country Thunder USA
Toby Keith; Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Country Thunder USA
Toby Keith; Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Country Thunder USA

Country star Toby Keith is asking fans to keep the people of his town of Moore, Oklahoma in their thoughts and prayers after a deadly hit-and-run that left two highschoolers dead and others injured.

According to KOCO News, Moore police responded to a hit-and-run involving pedestrians near Moore High School on Monday (Feb. 3). A pickup truck reportedly struck six students and sped away. The driver, whom police identified as 57-year-old Max Leroy Townsend, was apprehended three blocks away from the scene.

Senior Rachel Freeman was killed at the scene, while Sophomore Yuridia Martinez succumbed to her injuries on Tuesday (Feb. 4). ABC reports that the other injured students, senior Kolby Crum, junior Shiloh Hutchinson and senior Joseph White, remain in the hospital.

Though Townsend’s motive is unknown, Moore Police said that his 29-year-old son lost his life in a car accident near the scene of the hit-and-run on Sunday (Feb. 2). That crash is still under investigation.

Keith, who resides in Moore, shared a message for those affected by the tragedy on Twitter Tuesday evening.

“Prayers needed for comfort and strength to the families and kids of Moore Oklahoma after a terrible tragedy,” he wrote.

The “Red Solo Cup” singer is a proud native of Moore, Oklahoma. When the city was struck by deadly tornados in 2013, he immediately stepped up to organize fundraising efforts. In an interview with NBC News, he shared his love for the town, telling Brian Williams, “It’s the reason I never moved to Nashville. It’s home. I tried to live other places and always just came back here.”

The suspect was arrested Monday and for first-degree manslaughter and multiple counts of leaving the scene of an injury accident.

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