A 12-year veteran of the Nassau County Police Department was killed Friday night when a driver crashed into his parked patrol car with its lights flashing while he was conducting a traffic stop on the Long Island Expressway in Old Westbury.
A police cruiser driven by Highway Patrol Officer Michael J. Califano, 44, was hit from behind by a flatbed truck on the westbound side of the roadway at exit 39, Glen Cove Road at 10:55 p.m., police said. The cruiser was pushed under a box truck while the flatbed mounted the cruiser’s roof.
It took rescue workers a half-hour to cut the roof off of the cruiser and free Officer Califano. He was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly later.
The flatbed driver was arrested at the scene.
John Kaley, 25, of New Britain, Conn., was charged with criminally negligent homicide, three counts of assault and failing to move over for an emergency vehicle under a law that went into effect Jan. 1.
Kaley was represented by a Legal Aid attorney when he pleaded not guilty Saturday at First District Court in Hempstead. A judge ordered Kaley held without bail.
A female passenger in the flatbed and two people in the box truck were less seriously injured in the crash.
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano ordered flags at county buildings be flown at half-staff.
“I have known the Califano family for many years and my thoughts and prayers go out to
them, their friends and fellow police officers during this sad time,” he said in a statement.
Califano is survived by his wife, Jacqueline and three children; Michael, Christopher and Andrew.
-With Associated Press