MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a New Hyde Park man was sentenced today to six to 12 years in prison for a New Year’s Day crash that seriously injured a Nassau County Police Department officer.
Keith Dillon, 30, pled guilty on May 13 before Judge O’Brien to Aggravated Vehicular Assault (a C felony), Assault in the Second Degree (a D violent felony) and Aggravated DWI (an unclassified misdemeanor).
“Our police officers put themselves in harm’s way every day to keep the rest of us safe,” DA Singas said. “Police Officer Gomes was conducting a DWI patrol when he was struck head-on by this defendant who was drunk, high and speeding. In a very real way, he suffered the harm that this driver would have caused to random and innocent members of the public. He is a hero.”
“Fortunately, Officer Gomes is on the road to recovery following this tragic and preventable crash,” Nassau County Police Commissioner Ryder said. “The Department continues to and will forever support Officer Gomes and hopes he fulfills his dream of one day returning to duty.”
DA Singas said at approximately 2:24 am on January 1, 2018, the defendant was driving his 2014 Dodge Ram 70 mph southbound on Glen Cove Road in Greenvale – with a .27 BAC and impaired by Xanax – when he drove onto the center median, eventually crashing his vehicle head-on into an unmarked police car, driven by NCPD Officer Willard Gomes. The event data recorder from the defendant’s truck indicated that the defendant was traveling at full acceleration and never applied the brakes.
Gomes was on DWI patrol at the time of the crash, and the force of the collision pushed the car approximately 50 feet backward and rotated the car approximately 180 degrees. The defendant’s vehicle flipped over and came to a stop approximately 30 to 40 feet from the officer’s car. Xanax and cocaine were found in the defendant’s car after the crash.
Officer Gomes suffered a brain bleed, broken elbow and leg fractures which required multiple surgeries to repair. To this day, he walks with a permanent limp and cannot fully bend his left elbow or touch his face with his left hand. Officer Gomes will require additional surgeries to regain mobility in his left arm. The defendant suffered a fractured ankle.
Senior Assistant District Attorney Stefanie Palma of DA Singas’ Major Offense Bureau is prosecuting this case. Marc Gann, Esq. represents the defendant.