DWI Driver Sentenced For Long Beach Crash That Left Victim In Coma For Months

A Long Island man could spend over a decade behind bars for his role in a drunk driving crash that caused his victim to lose a leg and more.



Photo Credit: Photo by Tom Blackout on Unsplash

Twenty-nine-year-old Robert O’Brien faced his sentence of four to 12 years in prison on Monday, June 10, the Nassau County District Attorney announced.

Nearly three years prior, on July 16, 2021, O’Brien was driving his 2011 Chrysler 300 in Long Beach with two passengers. He had spent the day drinking at several area bars.

Near the intersection of East Park Avenue and Neptune Boulevard, he side-swiped a vehicle that was stopped at a red light and continued driving.

He then ran another red light, struck a second car, and quickly lost control of the Chrysler, hitting a tree, a pole, multiple parked cars, and a 70-year-old man standing outside of a deli.

The man, whose identity has not been released, was picking up dinner for his family when he was hit.

He suffered serious physical injuries that left him in a medically induced coma for two months. He also had to undergo several surgeries, including having his right leg amputated.

O’Brien, who is from Bellmore, surrendered to police two days after the crash.

“A Long Beach retiree was looking forward to meeting his first grandchild in July 2021, but instead of traveling to Florida to witness the child’s birth, he laid comatose in a hospital bed because of this defendant’s reckless, intoxicated driving,” said DA Anne T Donnelly.

“Though he recovered after months of treatment, O’Brien’s victim’s right leg was amputated and his dreams of being an active grandfather were destroyed…We urge all drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians to use caution and common sense.”

O’Brien pleaded guilty in December 2023 to:

  • Aggravated vehicular assault;
  • Driving while intoxicated;
  • Leaving the scene of an accident with serious physical injury; and
  • Assault.

The DA’s Office had recommended a sentence of six to 15 years in prison. 

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