HAYWARD (AP) — The California Highway Patrol says one of its officers died when the vehicle he was in was hit on a San Francisco Bay Area highway.
During a CHP press briefing officials reported Officer Andrew Camilleri Sr., 33, was on duty and a passenger in a patrol car parked on the shoulder of Interstate 880 in Hayward when he was struck around 11:20 p.m. Sunday.
Officer Jonathan Velasquez was in the driver's seat of the patrol car and suffered minor injuries. He has been released from an area hospital.
"The impact was so severe that it turned a utility vehicle into a very small compact vehicle," said Assistant Chief Ernest Sanchez. "So, it kind of gives you an idea of the speeds that were involved in this accident."
The 22-year-old Hayward man who drifted onto the shoulder and struck the officers' SUV was hospitalized. It is believed he was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana after driving home from a party, according to CHP officials. He is in serious condition and his identity has not been reported.
The crash shut down southbound 880 overnight.
Officer Camilleri leaves behind a wife, Rosanna, a 12-year-old daughter, a 6-year-old son and a 2-year-old son, according to a statement released by the governor's office. He had been an officer with the CHP for a year and four months.
"These irresponsible and senseless acts need to stop," Sanchez said during the Christmas morning press conference.
Flags at the capitol were flown at half-staff in Camilleri's honor. Governor Jerry Brown issued the following statement after the deadly crash:
“Anne and I are deeply saddened to learn of the tragic loss of Officer Camilleri, who died yesterday while working to keep our communities safe. We join his family, friends and the entire California Highway Patrol in mourning his death and in honoring his sacrifice.”
The California Association of Highway Patrolmen Credit Union has arranged a benevolence fund for Camilleri's family.
Donations can be made on the CAHP Credit Union website or directly mailed to:
Officer Andrew Camilleri Memorial Fund
CAHP Credit Union
P.O. Box 276507
Sacramento, CA 95827-6507