Keith Dillon was driving at three times the legal limit when he crashed head-on into Police Officer Willard Gomes’ vehicle
MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly announced that a New Hyde Park man was sentenced today for Aggravated Vehicular Assault and related charges for a 2018 New Year’s Day car crash that seriously injured a Nassau County Police Department officer.
Keith Dillon, 34, pleaded guilty on September 20 to charges of Aggravated Vehicular Assault (a C felony); Assault in the Second Degree (a D violent felony); Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (an unclassified misdemeanor); and Tampering with Physical Evidence (an E felony). The defendant was sentenced today by Judge Caryn Fink to 6 to 12 years in prison.
Dillon previously pled guilty on May 13, 2019, and was sentenced, but due to an appellate court decision overturning the conviction, the case was returned and prosecuted again by NCDA.
“Keith Dillon made the selfish choice to drive both drunk and impaired by Xanax early on New Years’ Day 2018 and NCPD Officer Willard Gomes continues to pay the price for Dillon’s reckless actions,” DA Donnelly said. “Driving at a speed of 70 miles per hour, Keith Dillon crashed his vehicle head-on into an unmarked police car operated by Officer Gomes, who, ironically, was working DWI enforcement. Office Gomes suffered life-altering injuries, will never be able to go back to active police work and is still on the path to recovery. We thank Officer Gomes for his courage and service to the people of this county.”
DA Donnelly said that at approximately 2:24 a.m. on January 1, 2018, the defendant was driving his 2014 Dodge Ram at 70 mph southbound on Glen Cove Road in Greenvale – three times the limit for alcohol 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 he 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 Litigation Counsel Stefanie Palma of the Major Offense/Homicide Bureau and Senior Assistant District Attorney Alexander DePalo of the Vehicular Crimes Bureau prosecuted this case. Greg Madey, Esq. represents the defendant.