Driver in bus crash that killed 8 Florida farm workers had crash 3 days earlier, judge rules – NBC News

Driver in bus crash that killed 8 Florida farm workers had crash 3 days earlier, judge rules – NBC News

The driver of a truck that crashed into a bus carrying farm workers, killing eight people, was in another accident three days earlier, a Florida judge ruled Wednesday.

Bryan Maclean Howard, 40, was ordered held without bail just over 24 hours after the crash that left him facing eight counts of driving under the influence – manslaughter.

While sending Howard to jail at least until his next court appearance on June 18, Marion County Judge LeAnn Mackey-Barnes noted that the suspect had “been in a car accident at least three days prior this accident “.

“Given your driving history and your history of leaving the scene of the accident,” Mackey-Barnes said she had no choice but to take Howard into custody.

In an arrest report obtained by NBC News affiliate WESH 2 in Orlando, officers said Howard told them after Tuesday’s crash that he was “driving very carefully” because he crashed three days earlier. During that accident, police say he told them he “wrapped his mother’s car around a tree.”

In addition to Tuesday’s deaths, 40 other people were hospitalized — eight of them in critical condition — following the early morning crash in Marion County, about 80 miles north of Orlando.

The eight people killed were Mexican and all had temporary H-2A visas for agricultural workers, Mexico’s foreign minister said. announced on late Tuesday. The bus full of workers, carrying about 50 people, was headed to the family business Cannon Farms in Dunnellon, WESH reported, citing the highway patrol.

During Wednesday’s brief hearing, Howard wore a prison gown with a bandage wrapped around his head. He held his shoulder or arms throughout Wednesday’s proceedings.

Mackey-Barnes granted Howard’s request for a public defender, telling the judge he earned $1,200 a month doing infrequent construction work and had only $100 in bank.


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