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Doctor: Bus driver died of ‘blunt force injuries’ in cement truck crash

Raymond Ragen, 45, is escorted back to jail on Thursday after witnesses testified in his vehicular homicide trial.
Raymond Ragen, 45, is escorted back to jail on Thursday after witnesses testified in his vehicular homicide trial.Photo Credit: Mike Balsamo/Examiner.com

The bus driver who was killed when his mini-school bus was struck by a cement mixer in Locust Valley in July 2012 died of “multiple blunt force injuries,” a deputy county medical examiner told jurors Thursday, as testimony in the truck driver’s vehicular homicide case continued.

Dr. Dorota Latuszynski, a Nassau County deputy medical examiner, said Jorge Guevara, 45, had suffered multiple blunt force injuries to his head and torso, including numerous broken ribs and bones penetrating the skin in his arms and legs.

Latuszynski, a forensic pathologist, also testified an autopsy revealed a hematoma around Guevara’s brain, tears in his heart and lacerations around his body.

Guevara, 45, was behind the wheel of the mini-school bus that was carrying special needs children home from summer camp when the bus was struck by a cement mixer after the more than 13-foot truck crashed into a Long Island Rail Road overpass on Oyster Bay Road in Matinecock on July 23, 2012, prosecutors said.

Authorities claim Raymond Ragen, 45, of Mineola, knew his truck was too large to fit under the overpass before the collision, but say he “continued to drive dangerously.” They also allege he was high on Valium and using his cellphone at the time of the crash.

He was indicted in January 2013 on charges, which include aggravated vehicular homicide, vehicular manslaughter, vehicular assault, operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs and criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Ragen has maintained his innocence in the case and his defense lawyer, David Besso, has said the crash was an accident and not a criminal act. He told jurors that testimony from police investigators will show Ragen was not impaired at the time.

There were four children on the bus at the time of the crash who all suffered non-life-threatening injuries, officials said. Prosecutors said family members of those victims will testify during the trial.

Witness testimony is expected to continue in the case next Tuesday.