8 Killed After Bus Carrying Migrant Workers Crashes

(StraightNews.org) – Authorities have charged a Florida motorist with eight counts of DUI manslaughter after he crashed his pickup truck into a bus carrying farmworkers. Bryan Maclean Howard reportedly smashed his 2001 Ford Ranger into a 2010 International Bus carrying 53 people on West State Road 40 in Marion County early on the morning of May 14. After hitting the bus, it spun out of control, hit a fence, and overturned. A further eight people were critically injured, and an additional 30 were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. Mr. Howard was also seriously hurt, authorities said.

Florida Highway Patrol is leading the investigation and said it would thoroughly search the site and surrounding area. A spokesperson said, “Our sympathies and prayers are with the families of the deceased.” The spokesperson furthermore confirmed that most of the victims were migrants.

Police records indicate that Bryan Maclean Howard had a lengthy criminal history, including several related to unsafe driving. In 2006, Howard was sentenced to 90 days in jail for leaving the scene of a car accident, but this was later suspended. Three years later, he pleaded no contest to cannabis possession charges and served two days in prison, followed by six months’ probation. In 2013, Howard served 30 days after failing to pay a $325 fine for driving without a license. The same year, he was jailed again for possession of stolen property, and five years later, he paid a $189 fine for careless driving.

Over subsequent years, three charges of driving without a license followed, and another for leaving the scene of an accident.

The 41-year-old appeared in court on May 15 and was denied bail. Marion County Judge LeAnn Mackey-Barnes ordered the defendant to be detained until he next appears in court in June. The Judge said Howard had been in a separate car accident three days before the fatal incident, and given his long history of traffic-related misdeeds, she had no choice but to remand him in custody.

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