Aaron Cooper, of Lindenhurst, arrested in North Woodmere fatal crash

A Lindenhurst driver was arrested on Saturday and charged with the death of his passenger after police say he was driving drunk, lost control and flipped his car. Aaron Cooper, 26, and his unidentified 22-year-old passenger were heading northwest along the tree-lined section of Rosedale Road near Lawrence Court in North Woodmere at 4:30 a.m. when he crashed of his 2023 Toyota, according to Nassau County police. The car overturned, killing the man in the passenger seat, authorities said.

Emergency responders pronounced him dead at the scene. Cooper, who was also injured, was taken to a local hospital. A neighborhood resident, Desiree Hopkinson, said the crash woke her from her sleep.

“I heard what sounded like a refrigerator being dragged down the street,” she said. “My first thought was that there was a car without tires that was still driving down the street.” She said she when she looked out the window, she saw the yellow Supra on its hood on a neighbor’s lawn. It appeared to have struck a utility pole and a tree, knocking branches into the roadway.

“It was horrific,” Hopkinson said. Cooper was charged with manslaughter, drunken driving, vehicular manslaughter, assault and reckless driving, police said. Neither Cooper nor his lawyer could be reached for comment.

Another resident, Francisco Baez, 63, who lives on Rosedale Road, said the strip of residential road, which goes from Valley Stream to Queens, has few traffic lights to slow drivers down. “They speed through here all the time,” he said. “We would like to see another traffic light on this street.” He said his security camera recorded the car coming down the road at what he said was a very high rate of speed.

The speed limit on the road is 25 mph. Drunk driving fatalities on Long Island have reached their highest rate since 2015, according to a Newsday analysis[1] of crash and ticketing data. Car crashes in Nassau and Suffolk counties killed 243 people in 2022, the last year statistics are available.

That’s about a 30% increase from 2019, according to the Institute for Traffic Safety Management & Research.

By Janon Fisher


  1. ^ Newsday analysis (www.newsday.com)