NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Tyrone Harrison attended Ohio State University, and played on the school's football team. Originally from Highland Park, Harrison graduated college and became a special education teacher in New Brunswick, and then a vice principal.
"He was a man with a large stature, but he was very, very kind. He was very gentle with the kids," said New Brunswick Schools Superintendent Dr. Aubrey Johnson.
On Saturday, Harrison, 49, was walking from the Edison train station to a relative's house when he was struck and killed by a driver on Stelton Road near Ethel Avenue, authorities said.
They said the driver was operating a 2003 Honda Accord, and was one of a group of drivers who were drag racing on the street at 9:17 p.m. when Harrison was struck. The driver fled from the scene and is now being sought.
Harrison, of Somerset, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by the Plinton Curry Funeral Home in Somerset. There will be a visitation from 9 to 11 a.m. Monday at the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Garden, 771 Somerset St., Somerset. A celebration of life service will be at the church from 11 a.m. to noon.
He is survived by his wife and their son.
Harrison started in the New Brunswick schools as a special education teacher in 2001. He obtained master's degree became a vice principal.
Johnson said Harrison had expressed an interest in becoming a principal. Johnson said that part of Harrison's effort to advance his career, he was assigned as vice principal of McKinley Community School last July.
Teachers at McKinley, Johnson said, expressed how they felt Harrison's caring and impact, even in the short period of time at his new assignment.
Authorities believe the drag racers are part of the “78 Imports”, a car club that participates in drag racing on public roads.
Police ask anyone with information regarding the incident to please contact Piscataway police Officer Meredith Robbins at (732) 562-7652 or Detective Jonathan Berman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office at (732) 745-4328.