Hero Down: CHP Officer Andrew Camilleri Killed Overnight

A California Highway Patrol officer was killed and his partner was injured on Christmas Eve.

Hayward, CA – A California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer was killed, and his partner was injured, after a suspected intoxicated driver slammed into the back of the officers’ patrol car on Christmas Eve, investigators said.

Officer Andrew Camilleri, 33, was killed in the line of duty, CHP officials confirmed during a Monday press conference.

His partner, Officer Jonathan Velasquez, was injured in the crash, and was taken to a local hospital.

He has since been released.

"This is not the way we wanted to celebrate Christmas Day,” Assistant Chief Sanchez said. “It’s definitely not the way we wanted the community to think of the 2017 Christmas holiday, but today’s not a holiday for the highway patrol. Today is the tragic loss of one of our own.”

The collision was reported just before 12 a.m., and occurred on Interstate 880 in Hayward, KNTV reported.

CHP Assistant Chief Ernest Sanchez said that the 22-year-old driver of a red Cadillac "drifted" onto the shoulder of the road “at a very high rate of speed,” and slammed into the back of the parked patrol vehicle.

“The impact was so severe that it turned a utility vehicle into a very small compact vehicle, so it kind of gives you an idea of the speeds that were involved,” Assistant Chief Sanchez said.

Investigators said the suspect was hospitalized after the collision, and will be charged with multiple felonies.

Assistant Chief Sanchez said that the suspect is in “serious condition,” and that his name is being withheld until doctors release him from the hospital.

“Let’s just say this individual was coming home from a party, and had obviously had too much to drink and maybe a little too much to smoke,” he said. “Marijuana is suspected, yes.”

Both officers were wearing seatbelts, which “definitely saved Officer Velazquez’s life,” Assistant Chief Sanchez noted.

Officer Velasquez’s wife met him at the hospital.

“As you can imagine, he’s very shook up,” Assistant Chief Sanchez said. “He will live with this tragedy of seeing his partner die.”

Officer Camilleri had been with the CHP for one year and four months.

He leaves behind his parents, siblings, wife, and three children – two sons aged two and six, and a 12-year-old daughter, police said.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Officer Camilleri, both blood and blue. Godspeed, we will take the watch from here. Thank you for your service.

Officer Andrew Camilleri, your life mattered.

No. 1-22

I am so sorry for the loss. He is a hero, He will always be a hero. My prayers are for his family and friends, that are mourning his loss of life
Officer Velasquez will always be a hero. My prayers will be with him during his time of grief. I want to say, please, remember the good times with your partner. He wouldn't want his death tp cause anyone long term grief. As for the driver that caused this tragedy, I pray for him too, His action will have long term effect on his life and his family


Heartbreaking! Because some little piece of shit had to get stoned and drunk on Christmas Eve. I hope his family sues the hell out of whomever served him the booze and then sues Gov. Moonbeam for LEGALIZING POT.


@Teijeiro2 don't be ignorant. Marijuana is a fabulous drug both medically and recreationally.


@Hi_estComnDenomn Why don't you sit down with the deceased officers family and tell them how fabulous marijuana is as a recreational drug.


I know scientists are researching, and hoping to soon develop, a chemically based method for testing marijuana impairment— and what it’s doing to the brain. We need a breathalyzer or blood test equivalent to hold impaired motorists accountable for driving while high. Currently, we are forced to rely on behavioral indicators to base judgement of impairment upon, and I fear too many people are getting away with endangering their community by getting behind the wheel after smoking. I hope, as a nation, we can gather more support to help expedite a test to aid in nailing these jerks and supplying prosecutors with scientific evidence to use against them in court. There are certainly enough people lobbying for the legalization of marijuana; I hope to be a voice that helps hold people accountable when they endanger the lives of everyone around them while selfishly driving impaired. RIP Officer Camilleri— May your sacrifice lead to change. Your life mattered!