A California Highway Patrol officer was killed on Christmas Eve when a suspected drunk driver crashed his car into the officer’s patrol vehicle, which was parked on the side of Interstate 880 in Hayward.
33-year-old Andrew Camilleri was married and had three children who expected their father to come home and help them open Christmas presents.
Camilleri and his partner, Jonathan Velasquez, had stopped their patrol SUV on the right shoulder of the highway, southbound near the Winton Avenue exit, to monitor traffic using a radar gun and other equipment.
At around 11:30 p.m., a red Cadillac hit the CHP vehicle from behind at high speed. The impact was so violent that the SUV was crushed to the size of a small compact vehicle.
Officials say the 22-year-old driver is suspected of smoking marijuana as well as drinking alcohol before the crash.
Velasquez, who was sitting in the driver’s seat, was injured and later released from the hospital. Camilleri, who was in the right front seat, died at the hospital. Both officers were wearing seat belts.
CHP officials say the California Association of Highway Patrolmen Credit Union will be setting up a benevolence fund for Officer Camilleri's immediate family, who will receive 100 percent of the donations.