Two troopers released from hospital, one recovering after crash during procession for fallen Oklahoma police officer

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Officials say three troopers who were injured during an accident while escorting a fallen Tulsa police officer’s body along a turnpike in Oklahoma City are recovering from their injuries.

Around 11 a.m. on Thursday, authorities with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol say three troopers, who were part of a motorcade procession for fallen Tulsa Sgt. Craig Johnson, were involved in an accident.

Investigators say the procession was traveling on the Kilpatrick Turnpike when a motorist in an Infiniti QX80 saw the procession behind her, and pulled her vehicle to the westbound shoulder so the procession could pass.

One of the troopers, who was riding his motorcycle along the westbound shoulder, crashed into the back of the Infiniti.

At that point, he lost control and his motorcycle crashed into the other troopers, who were also riding motorcycles at the time.

“OHP has determined that the driver of the Infiniti QX80 had legally pulled to the shoulder, stopped and did not violate any traffic laws,” the OHP announced on Thursday night.

Crash along westbound lanes of the Kilpatrick Turnpike, between Broadway Extension and Eastern.
Crash along westbound lanes of the Kilpatrick Turnpike, between Broadway Extension and Eastern.

The three troopers were seriously injured in the crash.

The injured troopers have been identified as Trooper Rocky Barnes, a 22-year veteran with the OHP; Trooper Steve Eason, an 18-year veteran with the OHP; and Trooper Ron Watson, a 30-year veteran of the OHP.

Officials say Eason and Watson have already been released from the hospital. The other trooper, Rocky Barnes, will remain hospitalized for his injuries, but is expected to recover.

“We’re gonna be in prayer for the troopers and their families and wish a speedy recovery for all those involved. Hoping for the best outcome possible for those guys,” said Capt. Paul Timmons, with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt released the following statement after the crash:

“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.” 

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt


The troopers were part of the motorcade procession for fallen Tulsa Sgt. Craig Johnson. The procession left Tulsa earlier in the morning headed for LifeShare Transplant Donor Services of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City.

Johnson and Officer Aurash Zarkeshan were shot on Monday after pulling over a driver on 21st Street in Tulsa. Johnson and Zarkeshan were taken to the hospital in critical condition, but sadly, Johnson died from his injuries the next day.

Sgt. Craig Johnson and Officer Aurash Zarkeshan
Sgt. Craig Johnson and Officer Aurash Zarkeshan

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