CHP mourns loss of officer killed in San Martin motorcycle crash

SAN MARTIN, Calif. (KGO) -- The California Highway Patrol is mourning the loss of one of their own Tuesday night -- officer James Branik, who was killed in a motorcycle accident on his way to work in the South Bay Tuesday morning.

RELATED: Off-duty CHP officer killed in motorcycle crash in San Martin

At the CHP office in Gilroy, the flag is at half-staff as officers remember their brother, Officer Branik, who was just 44-years-old.

"Everybody is in a state of shock, you know it hurts when you lose someone who is close to you and yeah it's a hard thing," said CHP Captain Scott Parker of Hollister and Gilroy.

Just before 6 a.m. Branik was riding his Suzuki motorcycle to work on Monterey Road when a Chevrolet pickup truck driving northbound turned in front of him. Branik was hit and died at the scene in front of a gas station -- the clerk saw him visibly upset.

"He was sitting outside upset, crying," said witness Subhash Sheth.

The CHP says the driver is cooperating and they do not believe drugs or alcohol were involved. Branik worked at the Gilroy Commercial Vehicle Enforcement facility in San Martin, inspecting trucks at the scales. Prior to that, he worked as a patrol officer in San Jose. He is remembered fondly.

"Very funny -- very kind, very nice, really enjoyed his work as a police officer and it showed and I think the community saw that as well," said CHP Officer Ross Lee.

Branik has been a CHP officer for more than 10 years. He leaves behind a wife and is survived by his parents. The CHP is assisting his family with funeral arrangements.
Copyright © 2019 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.