A New Hyde Park man was indicted for an alleged drunk driving incident on New Year’s Eve that left a county police officer with a brain bleed and permanent limp, Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced in a release on Wednesday.
Keith Dillon, 29, is held on bail and due back in court on Aug. 15. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of top charges.
Dillon was allegedly intoxicated and impaired by Xanax when he drove his 2014 Dodge Ram onto the center median and eventually crashed into an unmarked police car, driven by Officer William Gomes, at around 2:24 a.m. on Jan. 1, Singas said.
Dillon was speeding southbound on Glen Cove Road in Greenvale at the time of the crash, according to Singas.
The collision pushed the police car about 50 feet backwards and rotating it 180-degrees, according to the district attorney’s office.
Dillon’s car flipped over and came to a stop about 30 to 40 feet away from Gomes’ car, according to the district attorney’s office.
“There’s no excuse for people to drive drunk and high,” Singas said. “Yet this defendant allegedly got behind the wheel – under the influence of both alcohol and drugs – and jeopardized the life of every single person on our streets.
Xanax and cocaine were also allegedly found in Dillon’s car after the crash, according to the district attorney’s office.
Gomes, on DWI patrol at the time of the crash, suffered multiple injuries including a brain bleed, broken elbow and leg fractures which required multiple surgeries to repair, according to the district attorney’s office.
Gomes is left with lasting damage, and to this day walks with a permanent limp and cannot fully bend his left elbow or touch his face with his left hand, according to the district attorney’s office.
“William Gomes is a brave police officer who was working the night shift on New Year’s Eve to keep us safe from drunk drivers. Tragically, he must live with the injuries he sustained that night while protecting us,” Singas said. “My office is committed to aggressively prosecuting this case – and every case – against people who drink and drive.”
Gomes was honored by the county in March, when he was able to walk again after being injured in the line of duty, according to Fios news.
Gomes told Fios he was trapped in his police car for a half hour while emergency crews tried to free him; the last thing he remembered was a truck coming right at him, he said.
There was little hope Gomes would survive at the time, and once he did, Gomes feared he would never walk again, according to Fios.
Dillon suffered a fractured ankle from the crash, according to the district attorney’s office.
Senior Assistant District Attorney Stefanie Palma of Singas’ Major Offense Bureau is prosecuting the case.
Dillion is represented by attorney Marc Gann.
Efforts to reach Gann were unavailing.