Fallen CHP officer remembered as hero, loving father

HAYWARD, Calif. (KGO) -- The Bay Area is mourning the loss of CHP Officer Andrew Camilleri. On Christmas Eve he was on the side of I-880 on the lookout for dangerous drivers when the CHP says one of those drivers slammed into his SUV. Camilleri leaves behind a wife and three children.

While the CHP is dealing with their grief, they are also making plans to honor Officer Camilleri. A bell ceremony will take place tomorrow. Officials are also working with the officer's family to plan the funeral and coordinating out of state visits. Even the Canadian Mounted Police plan to send representatives to show their respect for Officer Camilleri.

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The 33-year-old officer was sitting in his car with his partner monitoring traffic on the 880 when they were hit and he was killed. The bell ringing ceremony is a way for the department to immediately acknowledge his sacrifice while funeral planning is underway. It's also a way for CHP employees to all come together, especially those who can't attend the funeral. CHP officials say he is a hero and will not be forgotten.

Camilleri had just joined the CHP a year and four months ago. His partner was treated at the hospital and released.

The driver of the car that hit the CHP car is in the hospital in serious condition. They have not released his name, but officers say he was under the influence of drugs and alcohol and will face several felony charges.

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The funeral has not been set, but could be as early as Friday. Tomorrow's bell ringing ceremony will be a private event not open to the public.

Flags have been lowered to half-staff across the state in honor of Officer Camilleri.

Governor Jerry Brown commented on Officer Andrew Camilleri's death, issuing a statement: "Anne and I are deeply saddened to learn of the tragic loss of Officer Camilleri...we join his family, friends and the entire California Highway Patrol in mourning his death and in honoring his sacrifice."

The CHP credit union is working to set up a fund people can donate to for Camilleri's family.
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