New York City

Long Island Officer on DWI Patrol Struck by Alleged Drunk Driver

A police officer who was on DUI patrol was hit by an alleged drunk driver early Monday and suffered life-threatening injuries, police said.

Willard Gomes, a 12-year veteran of the Nassau County Police Department, suffered serious head injuries, including swelling of the brain, officials said. 

Gomes was in an unmarked car when it was hit head-on by a pickup truck that allegedly crossed over a double yellow line on Glen Cove Road in Roslyn around 2:30 a.m.

Officials say it took Nassau Emergency Services officers about 45 minutes, and the help from an off-duty NYPD officer, to free Gomes from the wrecked vehicle.

Gomes was taken to the hospital, where he was in serious but stable condition. He also broke vertebrae in his neck, broke an arm and a leg, cracked a rib and lost several teeth, among other injuries, officials said. 

"I would like to commend officer Gomes for his commitment to the department and for putting his life on the line during one of the busiest nights of the year for drinking and driving arrests," James McDermott, Nassau PBA president, said in a statement. 

Keith Dillon, 29, of New Hyde Park, suffered an ankle injury in the crash, and is expected to be arraigned Tuesday on DWI and vehicular assault charges, police said.

Nassau police made 36 DWI arrests this weekend, according to officials. That number is up from 21 arrests last year.

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