A Long Island family is grieving the loss of their husband and father, who was killed Monday behind the wheel of a school bus in a devastating crash.
Jorge Guevara was killed when he crashed into an out-of-control cement truck on Oyster Bay Road and Matinecock Court in Locust Valley Monday afternoon. Authorities said the other driver apparently did not know his cement truck would not fit underneath a train overpass, and the impact dislodged the cement truck barrel, causing him to lose control.
Friends said Guevara loved his job and said it doesn't surprise them that his heroic actions may have saved the four special-needs children on board his bus.
"He was a very hard worker," said family friend Josue Martinez. "He tried to be something better in his life. So he quit one job and took this job."
Cynthia Robson's 6-year-old son Daniel survived the head-on collision as they came home from camp.
"We got out of the bus through the back door because the front was all wrecked up," said Daniel.
"I think the bus driver saved them by turning like he did, to avoid hitting head-on and making it a worse collision," she said.
Guevara emigrated from Honduras nearly 20 years ago. He leaves behind a wife and five children between 2 and 17 years old.
He died one day short of his daughter's 12th birthday.
"He always wanted to do things for other people," said another family friend. "He was a really sweet guy."
Police have not said if the cement truck's speed contributed to the accident. A spokesman for the cement truck company said the 44-year-old driver has been working there since 2008 and has never had any issues.
But some who saw the impact of the crash wonder if speed was a factor.
"He wound up on the other side of the road," said a witness. "He jumped the lane, so he must have been moving pretty quick."
People who live in the area say other drivers of large vehicles often try to drive under the overpass, despite numerous warning signs.
"Signs are everywhere, but they don't pay attention," said Lynn Knickman.
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