MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced the sentencing today of a Mineola man who crashed his cement truck into an overpass and a school bus in Matinecock in July 2012, killing the bus driver as well as seriously injuring an attendant and injuring four students.
Raymond Ragen, 46, was sentenced today by Nassau County Court Judge William Donnino to five to 15 years in prison. Ragen was convicted in April 2014 by a Nassau County jury of Manslaughter in the 2nd Degree (a C felony) and Assault in the 2nd Degree (a D felony). He was acquitted of Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, Vehicular Manslaughter in the 2nd Degree, and Assault in the 2nd Degree. The jury deliberated for approximately three hours in a trial that lasted 3-1/2 weeks.
“The irreparable damage caused by Mr. Ragen’s reckless actions will never be erased,” DA Rice said. “Though nothing will bring back Mr. Guevara to his family, this sentence will ensure that this defendant will be held accountable for the pain and suffering he inflicted upon his victims that day.”
DA Rice said that at approximately 3:15 p.m. on July 23, 2012, Ragen was driving a 13-foot, 3-inch-high cement truck weighing nearly 40,000 pounds eastbound on Oyster Bay Road in Matinecock when he crashed into a 10-foot, one-inch-high Long Island Rail Road overpass.
The force of the crash sent the cement truck careening into oncoming traffic where it crashed head-on with a small school bus carrying special-needs children home from summer camp.
The driver of the bus, Jorge Guevara, 45, of Locust Valley, suffered extensive internal injuries and had one of his legs nearly amputated. He was alive for approximately 30 minutes inside the bus while emergency responders attempted to sustain and revive him. Guevara died from his injuries while still pinned inside the bus.
A 64-year-old man serving as a bus attendant suffered multiple fractures, including a broken and dislocated hip that required two surgeries and a fractured wrist. Metal hardware was inserted into his hips and knees, he requires the use of a wheelchair and he must walk with the aid of a cane.
The four children on the bus were all between the ages of six and nine. Three suffered minor injuries, but the fourth suffered a fractured jaw and lacerations on his face and body. He has permanent facial scarring and a detached lip.
Ragen was arrested after an extensive investigation by DA Rice’s office, the Nassau County Police Department, the New York State Department of Transportation and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
GPS data from the cement truck revealed that Ragen was uniquely aware that his truck would not fit beneath the overpass because he had driven up to the bridge a few hours earlier and been forced to perform a U-turn.
Brendan Ahern, Deputy Chief of DA Rice’s Vehicular Crimes Bureau, and Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Dellinger, are prosecuting the case. Ragen is represented by David Besso, Esq.