A Lynbrook man pleaded guilty Thursday to DWI charges – earning his 12th drunken driving conviction – after he was boozed up behind the wheel when struck two senior citizens with his car in Oceanside, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said.
Sean Crane, 51, admitted his guilt Oct. 10 and pleaded guilty to an indictment filled with felony and misdemeanor charges. As part of an agreement with prosecutors, he will be sentenced to serve 5 5/6 to 14 years behind bars.
“This defendant’s history of repeated drunk driving offenses is proof that the only way to protect our community from the most dangerous offenders is to put them in prison,” Rice said.
Prosecutors said Crane took the keys to his girlfriend’s 2011 Nissan Juke on May 26, 2012. He was driving eastbound along Merrick Road in Oceanside around 6:15 p.m., when he struck a 76-year-old woman and her 78-year-old husband. The elderly couple was reportedly holding hands as they crossed the roadway on their way to dinner.
The district attorney’s office said Crane swerved into oncoming traffic in an attempt to avoid the couple, but struck the woman with the passenger-side mirror. The force broke her wrist and sent her flying into her husband. She also suffered road rash injuries on her legs. Doctors put nine staples into her husband’s head after he smashed his cranium on the roadway. He also suffered from a torn Achilles tendon, a news release said.
After the crash, Crane reportedly parked nearby and returned to the scene on foot. He produced a blood-alcohol-content of .20 percent – more than twice the legal limit – when he was tested two hours after the crash.
His Thursday guilty verdict marks Crane’s 12th drunken driving conviction on Long Island – 10 of which have been felonies – since 1981, prosecutors said. He has served time in an upstate prison on two of those. Half of his convictions were in Nassau County, while the other half were from Suffolk County.
Crane pleaded guilty to aggravated driving while intoxicated, two counts of felony driving while intoxicated, first-degree unauthorized use of a vehicle, first-degree, second-degree and third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, two counts of third-degree assault, reckless driving and second-degree reckless endangerment.
“Our roads are a safer place today with Mr. Crane behind bars,” Rice said.
His attorney, Gerard McCloskey, could not be reached Thursday evening for comment.