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Three Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers recovering after crash during procession for fallen Tulsa officer

Posted at 11:36 AM, Jul 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-03 09:56:44-04

OKLAHOMA CITY — Three Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers are recovering after being injured in a crash Thursday during the procession of Tulsa Police Officer Sgt. Craig Johnson to Oklahoma City.

The injured troopers are identified as Trooper Rocky Barnes, Trooper Steve Eason, and Trooper Ron Watson, according to OHP officials. Two of the troopers are out of the hospital. A third remains in the hospital, but is expected to recover.

The crash happened on the Kilpatrick Turnpike as OHP motorcycle units escorted Sgt. Johnson to LifeShare Transplant Donor Services of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City.

A driver going westbound in an Infiniti QX80 saw the procession behind her and pulled to the right, stopping on the westbound shoulder so the procession could pass, according to OHP officials. As Trooper Barnes was going westbound on the shoulder to lead the motorcade, he struck the left rear bumper of the Infiniti QX80 as it was parked.

The OHP motorcycle then traveled back into the westbound lanes and it collided with other OHP motorcycles, officials said.

OHP says the driver of the Infiniti QX80 legally pulled to the shoulder, stopped, and did not violate any traffic laws.

Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin said no Tulsa police officers were injured in the crash.

Governor Kevin Stitt asked people to pray for those injured:

“I ask Oklahomans to join the First Lady and me in praying for the recovery of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers who were injured, for their families and for all those affected by this terrible accident.

It is always difficult to receive news of first responders being injured in the line of duty, but it is especially heartbreaking to learn this incident happened during the procession for an officer who was senselessly murdered while protecting his community.”

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