NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A truck driver accused of falling asleep at the wheel and killing a Long Island police officer appeared in court Tuesday the same day a wake was to be held for the fallen officer. Bail was set at $90,000 bond or $47,500 cash for John Kaley.
Police said Kaley, 25, fell asleep behind the wheel on the Long Island Expressway Friday night when his flat bed truck slammed into Officer Michael Califano’s patrol car after he had pulled over to do a vehicle and traffic stop.
It was revealed in court that the Connecticut man had no signs of alcohol in his system at the time of the wreck. Attorney William Petrillo called the crash an accident, not a crime.
“There’s no allegation at all in this case of any alcohol involvement, there’s no allegation at all of any drugs, this is simply a car accident that resulted in a death,” Petrillo said. “It’s a horrible tragedy, but it is not a crime; there is no criminal conduct in this case at all.”
Kaley is charged with criminally negligent homicide. Kaley is due back in court on Feb. 23.
PBA President James Carver, who was in court with about two dozen police officers, was upset after bail was reduced for Kaley.
“This individual is going to be set free to go on with his life while Michael’s family is going to have to sit there and deal with this,” Carver said.
On Tuesday on the Wantagh street where Officer Califano lived, in the Seaford church community where he celebrated and volunteered and at his wake in Massapequa there was nothing but sorrow and sadness.
“Politicians, dignitaries, we have people from the neighborhoods, everybody is out here because it hits home for everybody,” Nassau County Police Officer James McDermott told CBS 2′s Jennifer McLogan.
There was heartbreak and anger, too, over the loss of a brave father of three, dedicated husband and protector of the public.
Officer Califano’s funeral will be held Thursday at the Maria Regina Church in Seaford.
Califano lived 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.