Nassau County detectives have charged the driver of a cement truck with manslaughter in connection with the horrific school bus crash in Locust Valley last July that left one man dead.
Raymond Ragen, 44, of Mineola, was charged Tuesday with driving while under the influence of drugs when he barreled into a Long Island Rail Road bridge July 23 and careened into an oncoming school bus.
Driver Jorge Guevara was pronounced dead at the scene after a cement truck smashed head-on into the bus he was driving in the oncoming lane at 3:15 p.m., police said.
Five other male bus passengers were taken to area hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. Among them were three 6-year-olds, a 9-year-old and one adult, aged 64.
Ragen was treated at an area hospital and later released. He was seen helping the victims at the scene of the crash when police arrived.
But a six-month investigation determined through toxicology reports that Ragen was under the influence of drugs at the time of the crash, police said Wednesday.
The truck, a 2003 Oshkosh cement mixer owned by Nicolia Ready Mix, was travelling eastbound on Oyster Bay Road near Matinecock Court when it smashed into the LIRR overpass. The mixing compartment was knocked from the truck as the vehicle collided with the bus in the westbound lane.
The bus was transporting the children from a day camp in the area.
Ragen is charged with second-degree manslaughter, five counts of assault, two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, reckless endangerment, driving while ability impaired by drugs in a commercial vehicle, aggravated vehicular homicide, vehicular manslaughter, various vehicular assault, reckless driving and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, police said.
Detectives said Ragen was also using a mobile cell phone at the time of the crash.
Ragen will be arraigned on the charges Wednesday in First District Court in Hempstead.