Florida Bus Crash Leaves 8 Dead, Dozens Injured

Passengers were farm workers in Marion County
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2024 10:28 AM CDT
Updated May 14, 2024 12:08 PM CDT
Florida Bus Crash Leaves 8 Dead, Dozens Injured
Emergency personnel work the scene of a deadly crash on Tuesday in Marion County, Fla.   (WFTS via AP)

A bus crash in north-central Florida has left at least eight people dead and dozens more injured, reports CNN and the Ocala Star-Banner. The bus of farm workers overturned early Tuesday in Marion County, say authorities. CNN has the number of injured at 45, and the Ocala newspaper says eight of them were critically injured. Florida Highway Patrol says the bus and a pickup truck sideswiped each other about 6:30am on West State Road 40, causing the bus to go off the road and through a fence before overturning. The driver of the pickup is among the injured.

"At this point, we are conducting a massive traffic homicide investigation," said Lt. Patrick Riordan of the Florida Highway Patrol. "I can tell you that it's going to be probably six months, at least, before we conclude, factually, what transpired here today." The bus was en route to Cannon Farms in Dunnellon, which is currently harvesting watermelons.

"We will be closed today out of respect to the losses and injuries endured early this morning in the accident that took place to the Olvera Trucking Harvesting Corp.," the farm wrote on social media, per the AP. "Please pray with us for the families and the loved ones involved." Olvera recently applied for 43 migrant workers to harvest watermelons at the farm, and it also advertised for a temporary bus driver to bring them there. Both jobs paid about $15 an hour. This story was updated with new details. (More Florida stories.)

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