Norman police have released the identity of a man killed in a motorcycle crash on Tuesday.
The victim is 36-year-old Thomas “TJ” Cotrone of Norman.
Cotrone is a former Norman police officer. He died Tuesday afternoon after he crashed into the back of a truck pulling a trailer on Highway 9 and S.E. 108th.
“I can't find the words to express how great of a loss that this is,” said Dan Sullivan, TJ's friend. “He would become part of your family before you knew it.”
The City of Norman said Cotrone worked as a Norman police officer for several years starting in 2006.
Sullivan said Cotrone was working for a security company in Oklahoma City at the time of his death.
Police said a truck pulling a trailer was waiting to turn in the left, marked turn lane, and Cotrone's motorcycle ran into the back of it.
Cotrone died from his injuries, leaving behind a teenage son that friends say he absolutely adored.
“His entire life was his son,” explained Sullivan. “He and TJ had a real close bond that it seems like very few parents have with their children anymore.”
Numerous friends told News 9 Cotrone was known for his generosity. In fact, he was on his way to help a friend with some roof work when he crashed.
“TJ would go out of his way to help somebody and the darker your life looked, the more TJ would help you straighten things out,” Sullivan said.
Drivers near the crash site stopped unsolicited and told News 9 how dangerous this stretch of roadway is to travel.
“It's always been a deadly road, but it's going to be worse,” said Ron Ross, who lives nearby.
The 59-year-old driver of the truck was not injured, and police are still investigating the crash.
Police said Cotrone was wearing a helmet, and the preliminary investigation did not indicate any equipment failure of either vehicle.
Investigators said it does not appear any criminal charges will be requested.