Injured police officer speaks for the first time since leg amputation

Dayton Police Department Officer Byron Branch.

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – For the first time, we’re hearing from Dayton Police Officer Byron Branch who suffered traumatic injuries after being hit by a car in the line of duty. Branch is one of six trauma patients being honored by Miami Valley Hospital for their perseverance and resilience throughout their recovery.

It’s been 9 months since Branch was hit by a car on I-75. The driver of that car lost control on icy roads, slamming into Branch who at the time was helping a stranded semi-truck driver. Doctor’s were forced to amputate one of Branch’s legs. Now, he’s thanking everyone who helped him throughout his recovery.

“From here on out, because of the great work that everybody was able to do here,” Branch said. “I should be able to return back to work by the end of this year or the beginning of next year.”

Branch, surrounded by family, spoke for the first time since the accident that nearly killed him.

“I’ve always had a pretty solid mental outlook on everything,” Branch said. “I tend to be extremely pragmatic about how I think about things and how I live my life so I looked at it and I decided I’m not going to focus on what I can’t do. I’m only going to focus on what I can do.”

Also, honored at Thursday’s banquet was Rachelle Cooper. Back in April, she was tending to a friend at the scene of an accident when another car slammed into her.

“The other car hydroplaned into the car,” Cooper said. “I was sitting in and slammed the door on my legs.”

One of her legs severed in the crash. The other doctors were later forced to amputate.

“I lifted it up and it was just dangling,” Cooper said. “And I’m like there’s nothing. It’s just done.”

Cooper says she’s forever thankful for her doctors and nurses who were constantly by her side.

“I had some days I got down on myself,” Cooper said. “And they brought me right back up and I’m honestly honored to be a part of this hospital.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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