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Posted on: December 19, 2022

Manhattan Man Convicted of Assault for DWI Crash that Paralyzed Passenger

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Lumumba Woods, with a BAC of .12, crashed vehicle on Sunrise Highway; passenger was ejected 20 feet from car

MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly announced a Manhattan man, previously convicted of murder in 1992, was convicted by a jury on Friday of Assault and other charges for a DWI crash that left a 58-year-old woman paralyzed from the chest down in December 2020.  

Lumumba Woods, 50, was convicted of Assault in the Second Degree (a D violent felony); Vehicular Assault in the Second Degree (an E felony); and two counts of Driving While Intoxicated (an unclassified misdemeanor). The trial started on December 12 and summations occurred on Friday. The jury deliberated for approximately three hours. The defendant faces a potential maximum of seven years’ imprisonment and is due back in court for sentencing on January 17, 2023. 

“Lumumba Woods was drunk when he sped past one car, crashed into the center median, shot across three lanes of travel, and flipped his SUV multiple times,” DA Donnelly said. “The victim suffered catastrophic injuries and is still unable to talk or walk, two years after the crash, due to this defendant’s reckless actions. Mr. Woods, who was one-and-a-half times the legal limit for alcohol, endangered every person on the road that evening. We wish the victim the very best as she continues to heal from this terrible crash.” 

DA Donnelly said that at approximately 9:00 p.m. on December 18, 2020, Lumumba Woods was operating a 2003 Acura MDX, with a female passenger in the front passenger seat, driving westbound on Sunrise Highway in the vicinity of the Wantagh State Parkway. The defendant sped past one vehicle, struck the center median, and his vehicle rolled over multiple times, coming to rest upright on the north shoulder of Sunrise Highway. The passenger was ejected approximately 20 feet from the vehicle and was unable to speak or move. Woods submitted to a breath test and had a .12 blood alcohol content after the crash. 

The passenger, who was 58 at the time of the incident, was transported to Nassau University Medical Center and suffered multiple broken bones. She is paralyzed from the chest down and unable to speak. 

A witness testified at trial to seeing Woods’ vehicle flip over more than ten times. 

Woods was arrested at the scene by New York State Troopers. 

The defendant was previously convicted of Murder in the Second Degree in Suffolk County in 1992 and sentenced to 15 years to life in prison. He was released in 2014. 

The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Tara DePalo of the Vehicular Crimes Bureau. The defendant represented himself, while William Shanahan, Esq. served as legal advisor.  


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