1 student killed, 5 others injured after they were hit by a truck during cross country practice

Oklahoma children hit by car
Oklahoma children hit by car

(CNN) -- A high school student was struck and killed by a pick-up truck Monday while training with other members of a cross country track team in Moore, Oklahoma.

Five other students were also hit by the vehicle. Three of them remain hospitalized in critical condition with serious vehicular injuries, Moore Police Department Sgt. Jeremy Lewis said. The condition of the other two students is unclear.

The truck fled the scene after hitting the students, authorities said. A suspect was later taken into custody.

Moore is about ten miles south of Oklahoma City.

The slain student was identified by Moore Public Schools as high school senior Rachel Freeman.

"Our hearts are heavy in Moore Public Schools as we process this tragedy that is unbearable to comprehend. While members of the Moore High School (MHS) Cross Country/Track team were running on the sidewalk, six of them were violently struck by a vehicle. One of our students, Senior -- Rachel Freeman, passed away," a statement from the district said. "This evening and as we move forward through this unthinkable tragedy -- please keep our students, staff, and families in your thoughts and prayers. Our deepest condolences are with the Freeman family during this time."

The victims were all part of a cross country team and "just like any normal day, the kids were out, athletes, cross country track athletes, running during their practice," said Dustin Horstkoetter, director of safety and security with Moore Public Schools.

Horstkoetter told CNN that students and coaches jumped into action after the accident, giving first aid and other assistance to those who needed help.

"We live in a really good community and we're going to get through it," Horstkoetter said. "This community is strong and we are resilient but it's tough ... my heart is hurting, it's broken," Horstkoetter said.

The Moore Police Department responded to a hit-and-run Monday afternoon in the athletic area of Moore High School and were pointed in the direction of a fleeing vehicle by students who witnessed the crash, Lewis said.

"A lot of students witnessed the actual crash and were on scene when we arrived; some of those actually pointing out the direction the vehicle continued on, which helped us locate the vehicle four to five blocks away," the sergeant said.

Police apprehended the driver of a red Chevrolet pick-up -- believed to be a 56-year old man -- and took him into custody. Lewis said the department is "investigating the possibility of him being intoxicated" and is in the process of obtaining a warrant to draw blood from the driver.

The driver will be booked into the Cleveland County Detention Center but it's unclear what charges he will face, Lewis said.

Although a motive has not been established, evidence shows the driver had "struck vehicles before and after striking the students," according to Lewis.

A trauma team from the Oklahoma State Department of Education will be at the school Tuesday to aid students following the crash, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister said in a statement.

“The families, students and staff of Moore High School are enduring heart-wrenching tragedy this evening,” Hofmeister said. “Tonight we pray for the Moore community and stand ready to assist in any way we can.”