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Man lost consciousness before driving into students

This Feb. 3, 2020 photo from the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office shows Max Leroy Townsen. Two...
This Feb. 3, 2020 photo from the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office shows Max Leroy Townsen. Two Oklahoma high school students remain in critical condition after being struck by a pickup truck that killed one girl and injured three other students. Police arrested 57-year-old Townsend and say he was driving the truck that struck members of a high school cross country team in suburban Oklahoma City.(Cleveland County Sheriff's Office via AP)
Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 4:45 PM CDT
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NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - The attorney for a man charged with murder after driving into an Oklahoma high school cross-country team says the man had lost consciousness after choking on an energy drink.

Max Townsend is on trial for three counts of second-degree murder in the February 2020 crash that killed three Moore High School cross-country runners in suburban Oklahoma City.

Prosecutors said during opening statements Wednesday that Townsend had traces of alcohol and marijuana in his system when he drove his pickup into the group, showing “imminently dangerous conduct.”

The defense says the crash happened as Townsend drove to the home of his son to plan the funeral for the 29-year-old, who had been killed in a auto accident the day before.

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