CHP officer killed in early morning crash

CHP Officer James Branik, of Morgan Hill, died in traffic accident in San Martin Sept. 19.

California Highway Patrol officer James Branik, 44, who worked in commercial enforcement in San Martin, was killed early Tuesday morning heading south on Monterey Road when a driver turned his 2013 Chevrolet pickup onto the road from the left turn lane at Chester Avenue, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The truck driver, Joseph Ketchum, 47, turned into the lane “for an unknown reason” where the motorcyclist was driving, according to the report. The motorcyclist was killed at the scene at 5:51 a.m.
Branik was assigned to the Gilroy Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Facility (G.C.V.E.F.) in San Martin.  
Police are investigating. Alcohol and/or drugs are not considered to be a factor in this collision at this time, CHP officers said. Citizens with information regarding this collision are encouraged to call Officer Sean Nichols at the Hollister-Gilroy CHP Area office at (408) 848-2324.
In a second crash, a 24-year-old San Jose man was severely injured at 4:05 Tuesday morning when his 1997 Honda Accord struck a tractor pulling a flatbed trailer turning off State Road 156 west of Bixby Road.
The trailer driver was heading north and crossed the road to pull onto a field at about 10 miles an hour when the Honda struck it and became lodged under the trailer. The Honda driver was taken to Natividad Medical Center. The tractor driver wasn’t hurt.
Alcohol and or drugs do not appear to be a factor in this collision at this time, the CHP said. The collision is still under investigation.  Citizens having information regarding this collision are encouraged to call the Hollister-Gilroy Area CHP office at (408) 848-2324 and speak with Officer Brandon Diaz.

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