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New Hyde Park Man Pleads Guilty in 2018 Drunk Driving Crash that Seriously Injured Police Officer

Keith Dillon was driving at nearly three times the legal limit for alcohol 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 pleaded guilty in a 2018 New Year’s Day crash that seriously injured a Nassau County Police Department officer.

Keith Dillon, 33, pleaded guilty Tuesday before Judge Caryn Fink to 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). Dillon is expected to be sentenced to 6 to 12 years in prison on October 19, 2022. 

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.  

“Officer Gomes’ life was forever changed by the defendant’s reckless decisions to drive at excessive speeds while extremely intoxicated and high,” said DA Donnelly. “More than four years after this horrific head-on crash, Officer Gomes continues to fight for his recovery every day. No one should have to suffer as he has. We continue to wish Officer Gomes the best and thank him for his heroic service to Nassau 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 – nearly 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 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 are prosecuting this case. Greg Madey, Esq. represents the defendant.

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Read the full article: New Hyde Park Man Pleads Guilty in 2018 Drunk Driving Crash that Seriously Injured Police Officer.

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