Sturgis, SD – Navasota Police Department (NPD) Officer William Cooper died in an off-duty motorcycle crash while attending the 80th annual Sturgis motorcycle rally on Aug. 10.
The 22-year-old officer was traveling westbound approximately three miles west of Sturgis when he failed to navigate a left-hand curve and crossed over the centerline, KHOU reported.
Officer Cooper sideswiped one motorcyclist before crashing into another, according to investigators.
One of the riders he collided with suffered non-life threatening injuries, but the other rider was pronounced dead at the scene, KHOU reported.
Officer Cooper was rushed to a local hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.
His family said that attending the motorcycle rally in Sturgis was one of Officer Cooper’s lifelong dreams, according to his obituary.
“The Navasota Police Department is truly saddened with the loss of Officer Cooper,” Navasota Police Chief Shawn Myatt told KHOU. “He was a young, up-and-coming officer that was passionate about law enforcement…My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and my staff.”
Officer Cooper served as a telecommunications officer and corrections officer with the Grimes County Sheriff’s Office prior to joining the NPD in December of 2019, according to his obituary.
“Cooper showed the highest level of diligence when provided with a task, and met no challenge too great,” the tribute read.
A motorcycle procession of law enforcement officers escorted Officer Cooper’s body back to Texas on Friday, KHOU reported.
Officer Cooper leaves behind his parents, sisters, grandfather, nieces, nephews, and many friends and extended family members.
He was laid to rest on Tuesday.
Navasota officer William Cooper died last week in a motorcycle accident. He will lie in state at city hall until 7 p.m. pic.twitter.com/ovQV1hPmdI
— Jessica Gruenling (@JessGruenling) August 17, 2020
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Navasota Police Department Officer William Cooper, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.