Truck Driver Who Killed Wantagh Police Officer Avoids Jail Time

John Kaley pleads guilty to lesser misdemeanor charge of reckless driving for Feb. 4, 2011 accident on Long Island Expressway that killed Michael Califano of Wantagh.

Story by Andrew Coen.

A Connecticut truck driver who was accused of falling asleep at the wheel before striking and killing a Nassau County Police officer from Wantagh in February 2011, will avoid jail time after pleading guilty to lesser charge Thursday.

John Kaley, 27, of New Britain, Conn. had been charged with criminally negligent homicide for crashing his tow truck into Michael Califano while he was conducting a routine traffic stop along the Long Island Expressway in Old Westbury on Feb. 4, 2011.

On Thursday a little more than two years after the incident, Judge William O'Brien dismissed the criminally negligent homicide charge and Kaley pleaded guilty instead to reckless driving, according to Nassau County District Attorney's office spokesman Chris Munzing. He will not face jail time with his new misdemeanor charge but did have his license revoked.

Califano was a 12-year veteran of the Nassau County Police Department before his tragic death. He left behind his wife, Jackie, and three small children, Michael, Christopher and Andrew.

Inside the Nassau County Courthouse in Mineola where Kaley's plea deal was announced, prosecutor Maureen McCormick read a prepared statement from Jackie Califano.

From Newsday:

"There have been so many sleepless nights, and two years later there continues to be," McCormick read as Califano's widow draped an arm around the two youngest boys. "How am I going to raise three boys alone?"
Concerned Long Islander February 21, 2013 at 09:41 PM
Ya gotta love our judicial system....anything to move the docket along.
carol pascale February 22, 2013 at 01:22 AM
This is a tragedy but in equal treatment under the law the officer who accidentally killed a seventeen year old because the sun was blinding him(also reckless driving)was never charged. This man would not have been charged with homicide if he had killed me because it was simply reckless driving.God Bless this officer's family he was a good man doing a tough job.God bless this truck driver who will have to live with with this


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