Severe Bus Crash Claims at Least 8 Lives

Severe Bus Crash Claims at Least 8 Lives

( – A horrific bus crash in Florida in the early morning hours of Tuesday, May 14, claimed the lives of at least eight people. A pickup truck crossing over the center line and sideswiping the larger vehicle caused the accident, which also injured dozens more. Police have arrested and charged the truck driver with multiple counts of driving under the influence.

The bus was traveling on State Road 40 in Marion County, Florida, heading toward Cannon Farms in Dunnellon, when a 2001 Ford Ranger driven by 41-year-old Bryan Maclean Howard struck it. The impact sent the bus off the road, where it went through fences and impacted a tree before it flipped over, causing significant damage.

Eight people died as a result of the accident, and at least 40 others received injuries, some critical. The bus reportedly didn’t have seatbelts. A Labor Department law mandating them on employer vehicles for farmworkers and other designated protections doesn’t go into effect until June 28.

Officers noted that Howard appeared confused at the scene, and first responders took him to a local medical facility where he underwent evaluation. Authorities said he was slurring his speech and had watery, bloodshot eyes. His blood alcohol level was 0%.

Upon further questioning, detectives found out he had smoked marijuana oil with a friend the previous night and had taken three medications later that same night before going to bed. Howard said he didn’t know how the accident happened but claimed he was driving carefully due to a previous accident three days before this incident.

Offenses dating back to 2006 littered his prior driving record. Authorities arrested him the same day and charged him with eight counts of DUI manslaughter, to which he pleaded not guilty. A judge ordered the county jail to hold him without bond. His next court appearance is in June.

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