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Posted on: January 24, 2023

Manhattan Man Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison 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 sentenced today to the maximum of seven years in prison for a December 2020 DWI crash that left a 58-year-old woman paralyzed.

Lumumba Woods, 50, was convicted on December 16, 2022, after a jury trial before Judge Terence Murphy, 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 defendant was sentenced today to seven years in prison. 

“Driving fast while heavily intoxicated, Lumumba Woods crashed and flipped his SUV multiple times, ejecting his passenger, who suffered devastating injuries that have left her paralyzed,” said DA Donnelly. “The defendant was indifferent to his passenger’s safety and every person on the road with him that night. Today’s sentence proves once again that my office will aggressively prosecute vehicular crimes and protect our roadways from dangerous individuals.”

DA Donnelly said that at approximately 9 p.m. on December 18, 2020, Lumumba Woods was operating a 2003 Acura MDX, with a female 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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