Florida Driver Faces 8 Counts of DUI-Manslaughter

Bryan Howard was driving pickup that sideswiped farmworker bus
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 14, 2024 6:27 PM CDT
Pickup Driver Charged With DUI in Deadly Florida Crash
Florida Highway Patrol Cpl. Brett Detweiler takes pictures of the pickup truck that was involved in the crash Tuesday morning, May 14, 2024, in Ocala, Florida.   (Doug Engle/Ocala Star-Banner via AP)

The Florida Highway Patrol has arrested the driver of a pickup truck that crashed into a farmworker bus early Tuesday, killing eight, on charges of driving under the influence-manslaughter. Bryan Maclean Howard, 41, faces eight counts of DUI-Manslaughter, the FHP said in a statement. No further details were released, including what substance allegedly left Howard impaired, the AP reports.

  • Troopers said he was driving the 2001 Ford Ranger when it crossed into the center line on State Road 40, a straight but somewhat hilly two-lane road that passes through horse farms. The truck sideswiped the bus, causing it to veer off the road at about 6:40am. It crashed through a fence and into a tree before overturning.

  • According to state records, Howard has previous arrests for driving with a suspended license, leaving the scene of an accident, and marijuana possession.
  • FHP Lt. Pat Riordan said 40 bus passengers were hospitalized, including eight in critical condition, NBC News reports. He said there was a "high probability that the death toll could rise.
  • The accident happened in Marion County, about 80 miles north of Orlando. The workers had been headed to Cannon Farms in Dunellon, which has been harvesting watermelons. The bus ended up on its side, with its windows smashed and its emergency rear door and top hatch open,
  • Dominique O'Connor of the Farmworker Association of Florida said the organization is trying to help victims and their families, NBC reports. She said the workers are all in the US on temporary visas for agricultural workers and most of them only speak Spanish.
(More Florida stories.)

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