Man who caused crash that killed 8 migrant workers has lengthly conviction record

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At approximately 6:37 a.m. on May 14, 2024, 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, the 2010 International Bus transporting approximately 53 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.

A total of 53 patients were involved, with 8 of them being declared deceased by MCFR Paramedics on scene. A total of 45 patients were transported to local area hospitals: 8 in critical condition and 29 with non-life-threatening injuries.

FHP investigators said the bus was carrying migrant farm workers.

The Florida Highway Patrol told Ocala Post Tuesday that investigators had made an arrest in a bus crash that left eight people dead and 38 others injured.

According to reports, shortly after 1:45 p.m., FHP arrested Bryan Maclean Howard. He was the driver of the 2001 Ford Ranger pickup truck that caused the fatal accident Tuesday morning.

Howard has been charged with eight counts of DUI manslaughter.

According to state records, Howard has been convicted 20 times since 2003. He has charges such as Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of Drugs, Leaving the Scene of an Accident, Driving on a Suspended License (x3), Careless Driving, Grand Theft, DUI, Dealing in Stolen Property, Multiple Traffic Convictions, and was sued in 2001 after causing a crash that seriously injured another person.

Ocala Post also learned that Howard had wrapped his mother’s car around a tree just three days prior to the May 14 crash.

Initially, Ocala Post was told that Howard had been drinking. Later, it was stated that he was “impaired.”

When asked how Howard was “impaired,” FHP said that Howard’s eyes were bloodshot and watery, and added that his speech was slurred.

Additionally, FHP said Howard admitted to smoking marijuana oil with his friend the night before and took prescription medications before he went to bed.

Howard said on the day of the crash he was “driving extra carefully” after totaling his mom’s car.

Howard told FHP he was on his way to a methadone clinic in Ocala because of a “chipped vertebrae in his back.”

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