Inside, in the passenger seat, was Officer Andrew Camilleri, a married father of three children.
Assistant Chief Ernest Sanchez said at at a Monday morning press conference that a speeding red Cadillac hit the back of the patrol vehicle Camilleri and Velasquez were in, reports CBS San Francisco.
Sanchez said the name of the alleged driver of the Cadillac, a 22-year-old Hayward man, is not being released now. "The number of fatalities we've had in the Bay Area, just in the last couple of weeks involving people who have chosen to drive under the influence of alcohol and are suspected of marijuana use - you'll find too many tragedies have happened". Officials say his partner was sitting in the driver's seat of their patrol vehicle at the time of the crash.
Officials from the CHP Golden Gate confirmed the "tragic line of duty death" via Twitter on Christmas morning.
"He had too much to drink and too much to smoke", Sanchez said.
Gov. Jerry Brown said Camilleri died while "working to keep our communities safe".
Officer Camilleri is survived by his wife, daughter and two sons along with his parents, brother and sister. The suspect, whose identity has not been released, was taken to the hospital in serious condition and will likely face a slew of felony charges upon being released.
Flags at the state Capitol will be flown at half-staff in honor of Camilleri, Brown said.
Walcott said the driver who hit the patrol vehicle was taken to a hospital.
"We join his family, companions and the whole California Highway Patrol in grieving his passing and in regarding his forfeit", the announcement read.