Oklahoma Highway Patrol said Trooper Rocky Barnes is suffering from internal bleeding after a chain reaction crash during an escort for fallen Tulsa Police Sergeant Craig Johnson. Barnes is expected to survive.
“He is a character. He is a cut-up. We always have a good time,” Barnes’ friend Tony Wilson said. “I have known him for 17, 18 years. Fun-loving guy. Good husband. Family man. Good dad. Just a terrible situation right now.”
OHP said Barnes crashed his motorcycle into a silver SUV legally parked on the side of the Kilpatrick Turnpike during the procession just before 11 a.m. Thursday.
The collision caused a chain reaction, which also injured Troopers Steve Eason and Ron Watson.
A swarm of law enforcement agencies and first responders jumped in moments after the crash.
“They were all able to come together and administer what they needed to right at that moment when everything was critical,” OHP Lt. Kera Philippi said.
All three troopers were taken to OU Medical Center where departments from across the state gathered waiting for updates.
Troopers Eason and Watson were released from the hospital.
“Underneath these badges and these bulletproof vests and these uniforms are beating hearts of a human being,” said Jason Smith with the Fraternal Order of Police. “We need the support from Oklahomans now more than ever.”
OHP said all of this was an accident. The driver of the SUV was released after answering questions from Troopers.
“Right now, we think it’s just an accident,” OHP Capt. Paul Timmons said. “Don’t have anything to indicate it would have been anything other than that.”