Fatal crash in Florida leaves eight farmworkers dead and dozens hospitalized

DUNNELLON, FL – Tragedy struck on Tuesday, May 14, when a collision between a bus and a pickup truck resulted in the deaths of eight farmworkers and hospitalization of 40 others. The incident occurred on State Road 40 in Marion County, as reported by the Florida Highway Patrol.

Lt. Patrick Riordan detailed the events of the crash during a press conference. According to Riordan, the accident happened around 6:35 a.m. involving a 2010 International retired school bus traveling west and a 2001 Ford Ranger pickup truck heading east. The Ford Ranger, for reasons still under investigation, drifted towards the center line, causing a side-swipe collision.

Post-collision, the bus veered off the road, plowed through a fence, struck a tree, and eventually overturned. “We have eight confirmed fatalities,” Riordan said. “Approximately 40 people have been transported to local area hospitals, with some in very serious condition. The driver of the Ford pickup also sustained serious injuries and was hospitalized.”

The group of farmworkers were en route to Cannon Farms in Dunnellon, as reported by local sources. Cannon Farms expressed their condolences and announced their closure in a Facebook post, noting they would remain closed to honor the affected families. “Please pray with us for the families and the loved ones involved in this tragic accident,” the farm stated.

The driver of the pickup truck, identified as Bryan Maclean Howard, faces serious charges following the incident. He has been arrested and charged with eight counts of Driving Under the Influence – Manslaughter.

Authorities stated that the identities of the deceased would be disclosed following notification of next of kin. “Our sympathies and prayers are with the families of the deceased,” the Florida Highway Patrol’s news release said. A thorough investigation into the traffic crash and associated criminal matters is underway.

The community, reeling from the impact of the crash, continues to offer support and prayers for the victims and their families during this difficult time.