Procession for fallen CHP officer heads through Tracy

HAYWARD, Calif. (KGO) -- On Christmas Eve Officer Andrew Camilleri was on the side of Interstate 880 on the lookout for dangerous drivers, when the CHP says one of those drivers slammed into his police SUV. Tuesday afternoon his body was escorted back to his hometown of Tracy.

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It was the final journey for a young man who devoted his life to trying to make Bay Area roadways safe, for everyone else.

But in California Highway Patrol Officer Andrew Camilleri's case, just being on the highways he patrolled cost him his life.

That is, thanks to the type of driver he and his partner were trying to stop, someone suspected of being under the influence.

All along the way, as Camilleri's body traveled the 45 miles from the Alameda County Coroner's Office in Oakland to Tracy, law enforcement, firefighters, and regular citizens stopped to pay their respects and say a final goodbye.

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"It was one of the first things I saw on Facebook Christmas morning and it was just heartbreaking," said Julie Remy, who brought her daughter out to a Livermore overpass. "I'm at home opening presents with my kids and their dad's not coming home that day."

Camilleri's body was given the full police escort, as it traveled to a funeral home in Tracy, where the 33-year-old grew up and where his family still lives.

Camilleri was a young father with three children, and just over a year on the job.

"My son, who looks up to people in uniform all the time," said Jason Griffith as he stood on a Livermore overpass waiting for Camilleri's motorcade. "I want him to see hey, these guys risk their lives every day and we must honor them when they do die."

Once the procession arrived in Tracy, Camilleri's body was taken to a local funeral home, in the town where he grew up and started his own family, not far from the home where he left his wife and kids for the last time...on Christmas Eve.

Click here to donate to the official CHP memorial fund for Officer Camilleri.

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