Ironman Athlete, Veteran Police Officer and Cancer Survivor Brian Kozera Dead After Bicycle Crash

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Veteran Police Officer and Cancer Survivor Dies in Bicycle Crash While Training for Ironman Competition
Veteran Police Officer and Cancer Survivor Dies in Bicycle Crash While Training for Ironman Competition

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A Pennsylvania town is mourning the loss of a beloved veteran police officer after he died while training for the Ironman. He was 44 years old.

Brian Kozera, a cancer survivor who worked as an officer with the Norristown Police Department for 16 years, was riding his bike Saturday morning when he ran a stop sign and hit the passenger side of a pickup truck, according to a crash report from Pennsylvania State Police.

The impact of the crash threw Kozera off his bike and under the truck's wheels, the report stated.

Kozera was transported to Reading Hospital, where he later died of his injuries.

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Veteran Police Officer and Cancer Survivor Dies in Bicycle Crash While Training for Ironman Competition
Veteran Police Officer and Cancer Survivor Dies in Bicycle Crash While Training for Ironman Competition

facebook Brian Kozera

The crash report indicated that Kozera was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. The driver stayed at the scene of the crash.

PEOPLE has reached out to Pennsylvania State Police for additional comment.

While working for the Norristown Police Department, Kozera served as a Use of Force instructor and was also a part of the Bicycle Unit. Additionally, he was a School Resource Officer at Eisenhower Middle School, according to a Facebook post written by Norristown Police.

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According to a blog post written by Kozera, he was training for the Ironman World Championship – a grueling race consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run (marathon) – set to take place in Kona, Hawaii, in October this year.

The police veteran was raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS), an organization dear to him and his family, as he was diagnosed with a rare cancer called lymphocyte-depleted Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2014.

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After undergoing 16 rounds of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant, Kozera "beat" cancer the following year and began training for the Philadelphia Marathon, and set his sights on competing in his first-ever Ironman competition in Austria in 2016. He has competed in a total of six Ironmans.

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"Brian was larger than life and always gave 100 percent of himself to whatever he did," read his obituary. "His family was the center of his universe, and you couldn't find a more dedicated husband and father. He will be remembered for his huge heart, his ever-present smile, his desire to help others and his 'Go Big or Go Home' approach to life."

Kozera is survived by his wife Kristin and their three daughters, his sister Leslie, and brother Brian.