New Hyde Park man sentenced to 6 to 12 years for DWI crash that injured Nassau officer

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A New Hyde Park man who pleaded guilty to driving drunk and injuring a Nassau police officer in 2018 was sentenced Friday to six to 12 years in prison.

Officials say Keith Dillon, 29, was driving south on Glen Cove Road at 70 mph when he crossed into oncoming traffic, hitting Officer Willard Gomes, who was on DWI patrol at the time.

Authorities say Dillon drank as many as eight glasses of wine at a New Year's Eve party in Bayville, as well as shots of whiskey, before getting behind the wheel of his pickup truck.

The prosecutor said Dillon's blood alcohol content was .27 that night, more than three times the legal limit.

Gomes sustained injuries to his neck, knee, leg and elbow as well as a brain bleed and multiple fractures. He is still recovering and hopes to come back to be an active Nassau police officer.

"It's going to be a reminder every single day when I wake up that on Jan. 1, 2018, someone decided to drink and drive and change my life forever," says Gomes.

Dillon broke into tears in court when Gomes addressed him. When it was his turn to speak, the 29-year-old told the officer, "From the bottom of my heart, I am deeply sorry for my selfish and reckless acts."

Gomes said he was satisfied with the sentence handed down and had a message for the man who drove into his police cruiser.

"I wish him the best and hopefully he'll come out after his sentence to become a productive citizen," Gomes said.

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