UPDATE: 3 Troopers Injured While Escorting Body Of Fallen TPD Officer

Thursday, July 2nd 2020, 3:59 pm
By: Brooke Griffin

Three Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers are in the hospital after police said an SUV cut in front of their motorcade, causing the troopers to crash their motorcycles.

The three troopers are identified as Rocky Barnes, Steve Eason, and Ron Watson.

OHP said all three troopers have serious injuries. Two have now been released from the hospital, while one remains hospitalized.

The processions was for fallen Tulsa Police Department Sgt. Craig Johnson.

OHP said as the group of law enforcement from multiple jurisdictions were escorting Sgt. Johnson's body to the state medical Examiner's Office. OHP said an SUV pulled over to the right, stopping on the shoulder to allow the procession to pass. Trooper Barnes was leading the motorcade, struck the left rear bumper of the SUV, and then veered back into the lanes of traffic.

Investigators said the driver of the SUV had legally pulled to the shoulder and did not violate any traffic laws.

Governor Stitt released a statement about the crash saying,

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

The Oklahoma City Mayor, David Holt, also released a statement extending his sympathies, saying in part:

"Please pray for these Troopers and for everyone in Oklahoma law enforcement. This tragic event compounds what has already been a tough week."