Former Buckeye Killed By Drag Racer In NJ

By Jeff Rapp, October 11th, 2018

As John Cooper began to rebuild the Ohio State football program in the late 1980s, he managed to feature several impressive skill players from different parts of the country. One of them was fullback Tyrone Harrison, who lettered for the Buckeyes in 1989 and ’90, showing glimpses of high-level talent.

Buckeye fans all across the country were shocked to learn that Harrison was struck by a car that was drag racing and killed in Piscataway, N.J., on Oct. 6. The incident occurred at approximately 9:17 p.m. as we was crossing Stelton Road.

He was pronounced dead at the scene from the injuries he sustained, according to a news release from Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Piscataway Police Chief Scott Cartmell.

Authorities are actively searching for information regarding individuals involved in the drag race. The driver of the car that hit Harrison fled the scene, the release said.

Harrison, 49, resided in Somerset, N.J., and was the vice principal at nearby New Brunswick High School. He was simply walking from the Edison train station, on his way to visiting a relative.

“As a school district, our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Harrison’s family. This obviously is a difficult time throughout New Brunswick Public Schools, and we’ve arranged for grief counselors to be available to students, faculty and staff,” said Aubrey Johnson, New Brunswick Public Schools superintendent.

Added New Brunswick Mayor Jim Cahill, “Mr. Harrison was an admired and respected member of our New Brunswick school community and will be remembered as a great educator and a dedicated positive role model who truly cared about each and every one of our students. His tragic passing comes as a terrible sadness, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time.”

A standout at Highland Park High School in the 1980s, Harrison remained an avid fan and supporter of the Buckeyes, and often reminded students of his alma mater when OSU won a noteworthy game.

“He always showed tremendous pride in Ohio State,” said New Brunswick High School Athletic Director Craig Lowery. “He always would talk about playing in the Horseshoe and how he wanted to have a connection and pipeline to Ohio State.”

The website for Project Exceed, a Metuchen-based personalized tutoring service aimed at helping young people transform goals into achievements, lists Harrison as a member of its board of trustees, and former math teacher, who has worked as an educator for nearly two decades.

“Throughout his career, he has demonstrated a strong commitment to supporting students who face life challenges, especially those for whom others have lost hope,” the website reads under a brief biography and photo of Harrison.

A preliminary investigation by Piscataway Officer Meredith Robbins and Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office Detective Jonathan Berman indicates multiple vehicles were drag racing when one of the vehicles, a 2003 Honda Accord, struck the victim near the intersection of Ethel Road before fleeing the scene.

Investigators believe the drivers are part of the “78 Imports,” a car club that participates in drag racing on public roads.