Niles officer killed in motorcycle crash trying to avoid cat

File photo.

NILES, Mich. — A Niles police officer died after he crashed his motorcycle trying to avoid a cat that ran across the road in front of him.

It happened around 6:50 p.m. Sunday on 17th Street near Broadway in Niles.

Police say Kenneth Ray was driving on 17th Street when the cat went into the road, causing him to lose control and tip the motorcycle. Ray was pronounced dead at the scene.

He had been with the Niles Police Department for 24 years.

A passenger was taken to an area hospital to be treated for injuries, and has since been released.

Neither were wearing helmets at the time of the crash.

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