SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A 22-year-old Hayward man has been charged with second degree murder in the death of a California Highway Patrol officer who was killed in a Christmas Eve traffic collision on Highway 880 in Hayward, the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.
Mohammed Abraar Ali was at the wheel of a speeding red Cadillac when it slammed into a CHP SUV with officers Andrew Camilleri and Jonathan Velasquez inside the vehicle. The SUV was parked on the side of the road monitoring highway traffic as part of the CHP’s holiday DUI crackdown.
Camilleri, 33, was killed and Velasquez received minor injuries in the horrific crash. Ali also suffered injuries and remains hospitalized.
On the morning of the crash, CHP Assistant Chief Ernest Sanchez said Ali was on his way home from a holiday party. He said evidence shows Ali was under the influence of both alcohol and marijuana at the time of the crash.
Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said the charges included counts for driving at speeds in excess of 100 mph, driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol and causing death and bodily injuries to CHP officers.
“That loss of life is avoidable, if every driver acts responsibly and lawfully,” O’Malley said.”Over the holidays, hundreds of arrests were made for driving under the influence in Alameda County. When we will we say enough is enough?”
Sanchez told reporters on Tuesday that Ali had never been arrested before by the CHP for drunken driving. However, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department released a mug shot of Ali from an arrest in 2013 for burglary in Fremont. The charge was later dismissed.
At a ‘Last Watch’ ceremony held for Camilleri last week, his commanding officer — Captain Tim Pearson — fought back tears as he talked with reporters.
“I’ve told a number of people that the circumstances are horrible in which we have to be here,” he said. “But to provide this for the family is an absolute honor. This is a very difficult time for the family, the extended family of the department, myself and my command in Hayward. We’re dealing with it, we are grieving.”
Camilleri is survived by his wife Rosanna, three children; 12, 6 and 2 years old; his parents, a brother and sister. He had been with the CHP for a little over a year.
“Andrew has an amazing family,” Pearson said. “His wife is providing a tremendous amount of strength for us when it really should be the other way.”