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Cement truck driver gets up to 15 years for fatal crash into LI school bus

Posted: 1:07 PM, Jul 03, 2014
Updated: 2014-07-03 13:13:01-04
Ragen slammed into a Long Island school bus while high on prescription drugs, killing the driver and injuring multiple children.  (Nassau County DA)

Ragen slammed into a Long Island school bus while high on prescription drugs, killing the driver and injuring multiple children. (Nassau County DA)

MINEOLA, N.Y. (PIX11/AP) – A Long Island cement truck driver convicted of manslaughter and assault for crashing into a school bus and an overpass in 2012 will spend up to 15 years in prison.

Nassau County Judge William Donnino imposed the sentence Thursday on 45-year-old Raymond Ragen of Mineola.

“The irreparable damage caused by Mr. Ragen’s reckless actions will never be erased,” said Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice. “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.”

Ragen was behind the wheel of the 13-foot tall cement truck when he slammed into the 10-foot-high Long Island Rail Road overpass, sending the truck hurtling into oncoming traffic.

GPS data showed Ragen knew his vehicle would not fit after driving up to the overpass earlier and being forced to take a U-turn, according to prosecutors.

The cement truck smashed into the overpass, then collided with a small school bus transporting special-needs children from summer camp.

The crash killed 45-year-old driver Jorge Guevara, of Locust Valley, who suffered extensive internal injuries and almost had one of his legs amputated.

It also injured a bus attendant and four special-needs children from a summer camp.  The attendant, a 64-year-old man, suffered a broken and dislocated hip that required two surgeries to repair, and a fractured wrist.

One of the children suffered a fractured jaw, lacerations on his face and body, permanent facial scarring and a detached lip.

He was convicted in April in the death of the bus driver. The jury acquitted him of aggravated vehicular homicide and a different manslaughter charge.

His attorney said it was a “tragic accident” and not a crime. An appeal of the conviction is planned.