Why We Walk


george ragotte (bottega) 

Home City: Lake Ronkonkoma

Crash Anniversary: September 19, 2015

“On September 19, 2015, George Ragotte was driving home, heading east on the Long Island Expressway when he came upon an accident. George being a very good driver was slowing down when he was approaching an accident ahead. While doing so a man who was driving his car while intoxicated with speeds of over 100 mph, not paying attention, crashed into our son George's car. Hit from behind, George’s car was sent flying into the center barrier, crushing him and trapping him in the car. He had to be extracted from the car and rushed to the hospital where he could not be saved after several attempts.

George was a 21 year old man who was well loved.  He was very popular and raised well, always with a smile on his face. George was an avid BMX rider, who won many National, Regional and State titles. Racing was his passion, and he worked very hard to always be in first, as he often was. His second passion was cars. He graduated from an automotive tech school and was always with his cars and his friends' cars.

George was so against alcohol, drugs and smoking and a lot of his friends were too. George would set up car meets and car rallies with proper permits.  He has touched so many hearts in many states.  At his wake more than 1,500 people came to say goodbye to a great man with honor.

His life was just beginning and was cut short by a man who chose to get into a car. Drunk. Drugged. While driving at high speeds.  We are the ones with a lifetime sentence.

Thank you to everyone for your support of Walk Like MADD. Together we can continue to spread our message of Justice for George Ragotte.”

- Joan, Steven & Samantha Bottega 


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