The driver of the bus that crashed, killing 8 people, will be held without bond

Newsweek

The man who was arrested and charged with eight counts of DUI manslaughter after crashing into a bus carrying farmworkers in Marion County will be held without bond, a judge ruled on Wednesday.
Eight people were killed in the crash, and 38 were injured, including eight in critical condition.
Howard made his first court appearance in Marion County Wednesday morning.
Prosecutors told a Marion County judge that Howard, in addition to having several prior convictions, was involved in a crash three days before being arrested for DUI in Tuesday’s crash.
Howard answered questions from a Marion County judge on Wednesday, like employment and financial status, while covered in bandages.
The prosecution asked the judge to deny Howard bond based on his prior convictions and recent crash, and the judge obliged.
Arrest records show that Howard, who is from Ocala, was booked in Marion County at 3:44 p.m. “We are a very big agricultural county.
So this time of year, we always have migrant workers that are in our county that are on buses just like this,” said Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods during a press conference.

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A judge decided on Wednesday to hold without bond the man who was taken into custody and charged with eight counts of DUI manslaughter after he collided with a bus transporting farmworkers in Marion County.

READ: FHP: Driver in Marion County bus crash that left eight people dead and numerous others injured was arrested for DUI.

Authorities claim that Bryan Maclean Howard was operating a Ford Ranger when the truck and a retired 2010 International School Bus, which was carrying about 53 farmworkers, collided, forcing the bus off a rural Florida road and onto an overturned surface.

The crash claimed the lives of eight people, left 38 injured, eight of whom were critically ill.

Howard appeared in Marion County court for the first time on Wednesday morning. The charges against him and the fact that he was involved in another crash just three days before Tuesday’s deadly collision were the reasons he was not granted bond on all eight counts.

A Marion County judge was informed by prosecutors that in addition to Howard’s multiple prior convictions, he was also involved in an accident three days prior to his arrest for DUI on Tuesday.

Wednesday, with bandages covering his face, Howard responded to inquiries from a Marion County judge about his work and financial situation. The prosecution requested that the judge deny Howard bond because of his past convictions and his recent car accident, and the judge complied.

He was previously taken into custody for the following offenses.

In 2019, leaving the scene of an accident where there was property damage.

In 2013 and 2018, driving while having a suspended license.

marijuana possession in 2003.

2006; leaving the scene of an accident.

Howard’s public defender made an argument on his behalf, claiming that since he has never missed a court appearance, he should be given bond.

The judge further declared that while this case is pending, Howard is not permitted to drive or use any type of alcohol, controlled substances, or prescription medications without a prescription.

Florida Highway Patrol Lieutenant said, “There’s a good chance this may be more than eight fatalities.”. said Pat Riordan on Tuesday.

Following the collision, Howard was also transported to the hospital with critical injuries. Howard, an Ocala resident, was reportedly booked in Marion County at 3:44 p.m., according to arrest records. m.

We are a sizable county that is primarily agricultural. Thus, at this time of year, migrant laborers are frequently found in Marion County on buses similar to this one, according to Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods at a press conference.

The laborers were going to a Dunnellon watermelon farm.

The collision lends credence to a broader discussion concerning farmworker safety, specifically in relation to transportation. In 2022—the most recent year for which data was available—federal statistics revealed that crashes accounted for the majority of farmworker fatalities related to their jobs.

Beginning on June 28, the Labor Department intends to mandate seatbelts and other worker protections in employer vehicles weighing less than 10,000 pounds that are transporting farmworkers on temporary visas.

Observe FOX 13 News.

The deceased were all Mexican nationals, according to the Mexican consul in Orlando. With two small children, the oldest victim was only thirty-one years old.

What drug may have impaired Howard is unknown at this time. The date of his upcoming court appearance is June 18.

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