Florida bus crash: 8 dead, 45 hospitalized in Ocala – WESH 2 Orlando

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Florida bus crash: 8 dead, 45 hospitalized in Ocala – WESH 2 Orlando

A crash on SR-40 in Ocala involving a bus killed eight people and hospitalized dozens more Tuesday, the Florida Highway Patrol said. According to the FHP, eight of these people are seriously injured. In total, the FHP reported 53 patients in this massive accident. “There is a high probability that there will be more than eight deaths,” FHP Lt. Patrick Riordan said at a news conference. RELATED: What we know about the Ocala bus crash that killed 8. According to FHP, the 2010 International Bus was transporting 53 farmworkers to Cannon Farms in Dunnellon when the crash occurred at 6:37 a.m. on SR-40, just west of SW 148 Ct. For reasons to be determined , the bus and a Ford Ranger truck collided “in a sideways manner,” FHP said. After the collision, FHP said the bus left the road, went through a fence, hit a tree and then overturned. Riordan said the truck, which was heading east on SR-40, moved toward the center line and collided with the bus that was heading west. Officials promised their investigation would be relentless, but with that comes time, Riordan said. On that, we’re doing a massive traffic homicide investigation,” Riordan said. “It’s going to be a very long and thorough investigation. I can tell you that it will probably be at least six months before we can factually conclude what happened here today.” On Tuesday shortly before 5 p.m., the FHP announced the arrest of Bryan Maclean Howard , the truck driver He faces eight counts of drunken driving manslaughter, the FHP said Related: Man charged in deadly Marion County bus crash. been convicted 20 times since 2003. Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods said he believed the victims were migrant farm workers, which is very common in the county this time of year, and rejected questions about their legal rights. “They are hard-working people. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with them being here,” Woods said. On social media, Cannon Farms announced it would be closed today. “Please pray with us for the families and loved ones involved in this tragic accident,” Cannon Farms told WESH 2. Several other patients were treated at AdventHealth and later released. “Our prayers go out to everyone affected by the tragic bus accident in Ocala this morning,” AdventHealth said in a statement to WESH 2. “Our immediate priority is to provide exceptional medical care to the injured and compassionate support to our patients and their “HCA Florida West Marion Hospital also welcomed of patients from the crash and told WESH 2 that five of them were in the emergency room Tuesday morning SR-40 was closed in both directions, but the Florida Department of Transportation said the road was. now reopened to traffic Marion County Public Schools says one of its school buses was not involved in the crash, but says it transported the victims to the hospital. The Farmworker Association of Florida has set up a verified GoFundMe to support the victims and their families affected by the incident. Those interested in donating can click here. Family members of loved ones killed or those injured in the Ocala crash can access support and emotional support funds by contacting 877-MADD-HELP or 877-ASK-MADD. Helplines are open 24 hours a day and have bilingual online support staff for Spanish-speaking people.

A crash on SR-40 in Ocala involving a bus killed eight people and hospitalized dozens more Tuesday, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

According to the FHP, eight of these people are seriously injured. In total, the FHP reported 53 patients in this massive accident.

“There is a high probability that this will exceed eight deaths,” FHP Lt. Patrick Riordan said at a news conference.

RELATED: What we know about the Ocala bus crash that killed 8

According to FHP, the 2010 International Bus was transporting 53 farm workers to Cannon Farms in Dunnellon when the crash occurred at 6:37 a.m. on SR-40, just west of SW 148 Ct.

For reasons to be determined, the bus and a Ford Ranger truck collided “in a sideways manner,” FHP said. After the collision, FHP said the bus left the road, went through a fence, hit a tree and then overturned.

Riordan said the truck, which was traveling east on SR-40, moved toward the center line and collided with the bus that was traveling west.

Officials promised their investigation would be relentless, but with that comes time, Riordan said.

“At this point, we are conducting a massive traffic homicide investigation,” Riordan said. “This will be a very long and thorough investigation. I can tell you it will probably be at least six months before we can factually conclude what happened here today.”

On Tuesday shortly before 5 p.m., the FHP announced the arrest of Bryan Maclean Howard, the driver of the truck. He faces eight counts of manslaughter while intoxicated, the FHP said.

Related: The man charged in the deadly Marion County bus crash has been convicted 20 times since 2003.

Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods said he believed the victims were migrant farm workers, which is very common in the county this time of year, and dismissed questions about their legal status .

“These are hard-working people. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with them being here,” Woods said.

On social media, Cannon Farms announced that it would be closed today.

“Please pray with us for the families and loved ones involved in this tragic accident,” Cannon Farms said.

Related: Farm where workers were headed closes ‘out of respect’ for killed workers

AdventHealth is currently treating one patient following the accident, the hospital told WESH 2. Several other patients were treated at AdventHealth and later released.

“Our prayers go out to everyone affected by the tragic bus crash in Ocala this morning,” AdventHealth said in a statement to WESH 2. “Our immediate priority is to provide exceptional medical care to those injured and compassionate support to our patients and their loved ones.”

HCA Florida West Marion Hospital also received patients from the crash and told WESH 2 five were in the emergency room as of Tuesday morning.

SR-40 was closed in both directions, but the Florida Department of Transportation said the road is now reopened to traffic.

Marion County Public Schools says one of its school buses was not involved in the crash, but says it transported the victims to the hospital.

The Farmworker Association of Florida has set up a verified GoFundMe to support the victims and their families affected by the incident.

Those interested in donating can click here.

Family members of loved ones killed or those injured in the Ocala crash can access financial and emotional support by contacting 877-MADD-HELP or 877-ASK-MADD.

Helplines are open 24 hours a day and have bilingual online support staff for Spanish speakers.

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