San Jose Police Officer Michael J. Katherman, 34, was killed in a collision Tuesday at 4:22 p.m., at North 10th Street and Horning Street in San Jose, while on-duty as a motorcycle officer, according to a San Jose Police Department press release. Officer Katherman was a resident of San Benito County and had been with the department for 13 years.
The preliminary investigation revealed that Katherman was in full uniform, riding a San Jose Police motorcycle, the release stated. The adult male driver of a silver-colored minivan was traveling southbound North 10th Street when he attempted to make a left turn onto eastbound Horning Street when both vehicles collided.
A witness stopped to assist Officer Katherman and used the officer’s police radio to call for help. Officers and paramedics arrived on scene. Officer Katherman was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased a short time later. The driver of the minivan remained on-scene and was cooperating with the investigators.
The release requested that anyone with information about this collision is urged to contact Detective Kelvin Pham of San Jose Police Department’s Traffic Investigation Unit at 408-277-4654.
Eddie Garcia, San Jose Chief of Police Tweeted: “Thank you all for tremendous support. God bless Officer Michael Katherman #3900. End of Watch 6-14-16 (his badge number and the traditional last call to a fallen officer).”
The official department Tweet stated: “Today we lost a brother police officer. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Michael’s family and friends. Rest in peace Officer Katherman.”
Hollister Police Chief David Westrick sent BenitoLink the following text: “Many of us saw the accident in our news feeds yesterday. It looked serious. I said a little prayer when I saw it because as a chief, fellow law enforcement officer, and frankly a human being, I did not want my worst fears to be true. A few hours later, I received a call from a SJPD official that confirmed my fears and was informed the officer was from our community here in Hollister. I was saddened to find out he left behind a wife and a young child.
“Hollister is a close-knit community,” Westrick continued. “I have faith that we will, as a community, do whatever we can for this family to cope and get through this. That’s what we do here. We support each officer. I authorized our agencies and officers to wear mourning bands to honor this officer.”
According to a San Jose Mercury News story, Katherman was an alumnus of Valley Christian High School, was married and had two sons. Police spokesman Enrique Garcia said Katherman was a seasoned rider who “thrived in his role as a motorcycle officer.”