A tragic accident on Christmas Eve in Hayward, California, took the life of Andrew Camilleri, a 33-year-old rookie Highway Patrol officer, and injured his partner, Jonathan Velasquez.
The two officers were parked on the shoulder of Interstate 880 late that Sunday night as they patrolled for dangerous drivers. Velasquez was behind the wheel and Camilleri in the front passenger seat.
Without warning, a Cadillac slammed into the rear of the patrol car, killing Camilleri outright and injuring Velasquez.
The early reports of the accident stated that the 22-year-old driver of the Cadillac was reportedly drunk and was driving so fast that the crash crushed the police SUV into “a very small compact vehicle,” as described by CHP Assistant Chief Ernest Sanchez.
A day or so later, it was revealed that the driver reportedly was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana. He remains hospitalized.
The funeral for Officer Andrew J. Camilleri was held at the Christian Life Center in Tracy, attended by thousands of mourners.