The wife of California Highway Patrol Officer Andrew Camilleri told KTVU that she let her kids open up their Christmas presents before she told them that their dad was killed on Christmas morning by an impaired driver.
Camilleri’s death has devastated many who knew him. Dozens of people were waiting at Fry’s Memorial Chapel when a procession escorting the officer’s body arrived Tuesday evening.
“Just hearing about this, I think about the family. I can’t fathom what they must be going through, [for it to happen] right before Christmas,” said Stephen Manrubia, one of the community members who came to pay his respects.
Camilleri was parked on the shoulder of southbound Interstate 880 for the CHP’s “maximum enforcement period,” on Christmas Eve, trying to protect the public from drunk drivers, when his SUV was hit. The CHP says the driver of the car, a 22-year-old man from Hayward, was under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Camilleri’s partner, who was in the driver’s seat of the cruiser, survived.
Friends described Camilleri as a selfless hero, and the man behind the badge he was a gentle family man with a 12-year-old daughter and two young sons.