A Huntington man who was allegedly driving drunk in Woodbury when he caused a head-on collision in March that left a 10-year-old girl critically injured faces upgraded charges, authorities said.
Eugene Golden, 60, was arraigned Friday on three counts of aggravated vehicular assault, two counts of second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and other charges, the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office said.
Golden pleaded not guilty and bail was set at $10,000 bond or $5,000 cash.
District Attorney Madeline Singas’ office requested bail be set at $300,000 cash or $150,000 bond.
If convicted, Golden faces up to 15 years in prison. He is due back in court on July 8.
“This is another heartbreaking example of a selfish driver allegedly deciding to drink to the point of intoxication and then drive at the risk of everyone around him,” Singas said in a statement.
“That risk turned into a devastating reality when the defendant’s SUV crossed into oncoming traffic and struck the car of an unsuspecting mother and her 10-year old daughter, leaving them with severe, life-altering injuries that were completely avoidable.”
Attorney Bruce Barket of Garden City is representing Golden.
“We knew these charges were coming for a while. The allegation of blood alcohol content is clearly false. We have witness testimony that saw Mr. Golden shortly before the accident that will establish he was not intoxicated,” Barket said.
“Obviously, everyone is hopeful that the young girl and her mother recover fully and we’re gratified no one lost their life.”
Golden was driving a Mercedes-Benz sport utility vehicle north on Woodbury Road at 9:38 p.m. on March 8 when he veered into oncoming traffic and collided with a southbound Nissan Versa.
The Nissan was driven by a 43-year-old woman who had her daughter in the back seat.
Golden was allegedly coming from a nearby restaurant, where he consumed alcohol, prosecutors said.
The mother suffered multiple fractured ribs, a fractured shoulder and spine, and required the surgical removal of part of her colon. Her daughter suffered a severe brain injury, which required surgery. The child is recuperating but the crash affected her vision, cognitive abilities and short-term memory, the district attorney’s office said.