CASTRO VALLEY, California -- As members of the California Highway Patrol mourns the loss of one of their own, officers remained at the hospital in Castro Valley, Monday afternoon, where they were keeping a close watch on the man they say caused the devastation.
"We have officers standing guard waiting for him to be treated and released," says CHP Asst. Chief Ernest Sanchez.
According to the CHP, a 22-year-old Hayward man was driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol Sunday night, when he drifted off Interstate 880 and slammed into the back of a parked patrol car with two CHP officers sitting inside.
"We have enough evidence and enough statements that have been made today to allow us to charge this individual when he gets released from the local hospital with some very serious felony charges," says Sanchez.
CHP officer Andrew Camilleri Sr. died from his injuries after being transported to St. Rose Hospital in Hayward. His fellow officer, Jonathan Velasquez, was treated for injuries at Eden and later released.
Sanchez added: "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."
The CHP says last night's fatality is just one in a growing number of deadly collisions on our local roadways. According to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, fatal car, motorcycle, bicycle and pedestrian collisions in the Bay Area jumped 43 percent between 2010 and 2016. The main factors cited in that analysis included speeding, unsafe turning and driver under the influence.
The crash has been tough for many people to process partly because the two CHP officers were out on patrol as part of the agency's maximum enforcement period for the holidays.
"We still have a very big holiday coming up, and at times involves more alcoholic beverages being served and that's New Years," Sanchez said.
The suspect was in serious condition as of Monday afternoon. CHP officials will release his identity once he is booked into jail after being treated and medically cleared from the hospital.