A California Highway Patrol officer is dead and another is injured after a suspected drunk driver careened into their patrol car on Interstate 880 in Hayward, California, just before midnight on Christmas Eve. California Highway Patrol officer Andrew Camilleri Sr. was killed in the rear-end accident.
A fellow officer behind the wheel, Jonathan Velasquez, was hospitalized and released, according to ABC7.
The 22-year-old driver is unnamed at this time and remains hospitalized in serious condition. He had allegedly left a party in Hayward earlier; police say he was driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana. Once released from the hospital, police intend to publicly identify him and bring felony charges against him.
Ironically, the two officers were providing assistance and extra enforcement to catch drunk and impaired drivers at the time of the accident.
California Highway Patrol Asst. Chief Ernest Sanchez expressed frustration at the driver suspected to be at fault in the wreck, saying at a press conference: “I’m not only disappointed but also angered that I had to notify a mother and three children that their father had deceased at a local hospital after being impacted by an individual who chose to drive irresponsibly.”
Officer Camilleri, who’d served with the California Highway Patrol for one year, leaves behind a wife and three children. He was scheduled to open presents with them on Christmas morning but would never return home.
Captain Tim Pearson added more about the man they’d lost to an “irresponsible decision.”
We lost not only a hero, but a son, a brother, a husband and a father to a senseless act and an irresponsible decision … Andrew was drawn to this profession due to his courage, integrity and desire to serve. Andrew was a great man who loved his job and loved his family.