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UPDATE: Off-duty CHP officer killed in San Martin crash identified

SAN MARTIN, Calif. - An off-duty CHP officer was killed in a traffic accident in San Martin Tuesday morning while on his way to work. 

Authorities identified the off-duty officer as 44-year-old James Branik of San Jose. Branik was driving his 2005 Suzuki motorcycle southbound on Monterey Road when a 2013 Chevrolet pickup truck driving northbound, turned directly into his path. The accident occurred at 5:51 a.m. on Monterey Highway.

Officer Branik sustained major injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. 

The driver of the Chevy pickup was identified as 47-year-old Joseph Ketchum of Gilroy. 

CHP said the investigation is ongoing. They don't consider drugs or alcohol to be a factor in this collision at this time. 

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Officer Sean Nichols at the Hollister-Gilroy CHP office at (408) 848-2324. 

 

 


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