Cement Truck Driver Convicted in Fatal Collision

The incident took place in 2012 in Locust Valley.

A Mineola man was convicted Wednesday of manslaughter and assault in an incident that left a school bus driver dead and others injured.

Raymond Ragen, 45, was convicted in a jury trial before Nassau County Court Judge William Donnino of second-degree manslaughter and second-degree assault for crashing his cement truck into an overpass and a school bus in Locust Valley in July 2012,  killing the bus driver, seriously injuring an attendant, and injuring four children.

Ragen faces a maximum sentence of 5 to 15 years in prison on his conviction of the top charge. He is due back in court on May 23, when a sentencing date may be determined.

He was acquitted of aggravated vehicular homicide, second-degree vehicular manslaughter, and one count of second-degree assault.

The jury deliberated for approximately three hours in a trial that lasted 3-1/2 weeks.

Defense attorney David Besso said Ragen’s truck was clipped by another vehicle, resulting in Ragen resulting in bumping his head and passing out, ultimately driving into the bridge, Newsday reported. Prosecutors were unable to find evidence to substantiate his claim.

A toxicology report revealed Ragen was under the influence of drugs at the time of the crash, authorities said, but Besso only "miniscule" amounts of Valium were found, Newsday reported. 

Besso vowed to “keep fighting” and appeal the verdict.


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