8 dead, many others injured following bus rollover

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Marion County — At approximately 6:37 a.m. Marion County Fire Rescue units were dispatched to reports of a bus rollover at the intersection of West Highway 40 & SW 148th Court in Marion County.

Meadowood Farms Station #12 arrived on the scene at 6:46 a.m. to find a bus rolled over with multiple casualties. Engine 12 immediately requested additional resources.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, for unknown reasons, a 2010 International Bus transporting approximately 46 farm workers collided in a sideswiped manner with a 2001 Ford Ranger Truck.

FHP said the bus traveled off the roadway, went through a fence, and overturned.

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A total of 46 patients were involved, with 8 of them being declared deceased by MCFR Paramedics on scene. A total of 38 patients were transported to local area hospitals: 8 in critical condition and 30 with non-life-threatening injuries.

“Today, we faced a tragic incident on West Highway 40 in Ocala with a devastating bus wreck. It is with heavy hearts that we confirm the loss of eight lives,” stated Fire Chief James Banta. “I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to the 35 MCFR units that promptly responded to the emergency. I also want to thank our partners at the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Management, HCA Ocala, Advent Health Ocala, and the Marion County Public School system for their invaluable assistance in transporting 45 patients to local hospitals. Their coordinated efforts were crucial in managing this crisis.”

Eastbound on S.R. 40: Take U.S. 41 Northbound to West C.R. 328, then head East on West C.R. 328 back to S.R. 40.

Westbound on S.R. 40: Take West C.R. 328 Westbound to U.S. 41, then go South on U.S. 41 back to S.R. 40.

The crash did not involve a Marion Count School bus.

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