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Mineola Man Charged with Death of School Bus Driver

Cement truck driver Raymond Ragen allegedly under influence of drugs, using cell phone at time.

A Mineola man is being charged in connection with the 2012 death of a school bus driver in Locust Valley.

According to Nassau County Police, Raymond Ragen, 44, of Mineola was operating a 2003 Oshkosh cement mixer truck eastbound on Oyster Bay Road in the vicinity of Matinecock Court at about 3:15 p.m. on July 23 when the vehicle struck a Long Island Railroad overpass.

The collision caused the truck to enter the oncoming lane of traffic and strike a 2003 Chevrolet school bus operating westbound on Oyster Bay Road carrying special-needs children. The operator of the bus, Jorge Guevara, 45 of Locust Valley, had one of his legs nearly amputated and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Five males that were aboard the bus, ages 64, 9 and three six-year olds were removed to local hospitals and treated for non life threatening injuries.

Ragen was also removed to an area hospital where he was treated and released. Both vehicles were impounded for safety checks.

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Ragen is charged with second degree manslaughter, two counts of second degree assault, three counts of third degree assault, two counts of seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, second degree reckless endangerment, driving while ability impaired by drugs in a commercial vehicle, aggravated vehicular homicide, second degree vehicular manslaughter, aggravated vehicular assault, first degree vehicular assault, reckless driving, third degree aggravated unlicensed operation and using a mobile phone while driving.

According to the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, Regan was high on valium at the time of the accident. The district attorney’s office also stated that Regan has nine prior convictions dated over a 16-year period between 1991 and 2007, including a charge of weapons possession.

He was arraigned on Wednesday at First District Court in Hempstead. Judge Tammy Robbins set bail at $750,000 cash as well as to be monitored for drug use. He faces up to 25 years in jail if convicted. Ragen is due back in court Feb. 20.

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Michelle January 24, 2013 at 02:34 PM
Valium is not a recreational drug that gets you "high" unless you take massive doses. It is an anti-anxiety medication which does not render you "impaired" or incapable of making decisions. This is also a man who pulled the kids out of the bus. This was a terrible "accident". I am sure that the driver of the truck has had his own nightmares from what he saw. He was not "unlicensed" as the news is reporting. This was a man who has been a professional driver for over 25 years and has a clean driving license. There are also no warning signs leading up to the bridge, until you get directly in front of it. Residents say that accidents with trucks happen all the time in this location. This is an unfortunate accident. My prayers go out to everyone involved. This was a horrific accident.
Vincent January 24, 2013 at 03:24 PM
Michelle: Listed as just one of the serious side effects of Valium. confusion, hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behavior. As well as: This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert. This is not as clear cut as you make it out to be. PS: Do you know him?
Moe January 25, 2013 at 02:28 PM
Obviously Michelle is a friend or family member of this dirtbag. One valium can impair your driving ability, you don't need MASSIVE doses. And how do you know how many he took, perhaps he did take MASSIVE doses. Regardless of how many he took, he did not have a prescription to take ANY. Perhaps people just assumed that since this upstanding citizen has 9 prior convictions he didn't have a license. And that's just convictions, imagine how many he got away with. Hopefully they lock this menace away and yes he will relive the day he murdered an innocent person for the rest of his life, and well he should since the man's wife will have to live with it every day as well. I wonder how forgiving Michelle would be if her child were run over by this guy.
Michelle January 28, 2013 at 08:27 PM
I apologize... I wrote this before I knew about the valium and the fact that the GPS showed that Mr. Ragen had previously turned around at the overpass. Please excuse my ignorance. My heart and prayers go out to the victims.
Martin Gavin March 24, 2013 at 10:22 PM
NINE prior CONVICTIONS. Any of us could have been taken out by this man and his way of life. This was no accident, but the tragic end result inflicted on an innocent working man and his family by a man getting over on aociety time and again...he should have been in jail serving real time for any of those NINE convictions. Any of us could have been victimized by this man and his way of life.

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