Off-duty officer killed after motorcycle hits cow

The Houston Police Department is grieving the loss of one of its officers after he rode a motorcycle that struck a cow. He was not on duty when the accident took place. HPD spokeswoman Jodi Silva has identified the officer as Taurean Branford, who served in the vehicular crimes division.

Officer Branford was riding the motorcycle on the State Highway 99 southbound lanes near FM 529 when a cow wandered onto the freeway at around 1:30 a.m. Sunday. The rider was unable to stop the motorcycle and died when it crashed into the animal.

The driver of another vehicle did not see the cow in the road and struck it again, causing the driver to lose control of the car which crashed into cable barriers. That driver was not hurt.

The cow died after absorbing the impact of both crashes.