Reporting Sophia Hall
OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – A Nassau County police officer killed when a truck slammed into his cruiser during a traffic stop will be buried this week.
The wake for 44-year-old Officer Michael Califano has been scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday at the Massapequa Funeral Home. The funeral is set for Thursday at the Maria Regina Roman Catholic Church in Seaford.
Officers were still in shock after Califano was struck and killed on the Long Island Expressway Saturday. He had pulled over a vehicle and was sitting in his car with the lights blinking when it was hit from behind by a flatbed truck.
The impact sent his car under the vehicle he had stopped and the truck went over him.
“He’s the father of three—three boys—married to a loving wife, lives in Nassau County, works in Nassau County, played in Nassau County and now unfortunately, we’ve lost one of our best,” Lt. Kevin Smith said.
Califano lived in Wantagh, Long Island with his wife Jacqueline and his three boys—ages 6 to 13 years old. Califano began his career with the Nassau County police department in 1998 he was 44 years old.
Smith said over the years the department received many letters about the kind things Califano did—including recently.
“It was from an elderly woman who was stopped on the side of the road and whose muffler was hanging down from her car. And instead of calling a two truck–he actually crawled under her car and was able to fasten the exhaust muffler back up so she could get home,” Smith said.
To honor and remember Califano, flags are flying at half staff across the county.
Authorities have charged the driver with criminally negligent homicide for allegedly falling asleep behind the wheel.
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