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Pickup truck driver who caused the crash that killed 8 Mexican workers in Florida is denied bail

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Mexican migrants, accident, bus, farm, death- Migrantes mexicanos, accidente, autobús, granja, muerte
Bryan Maclean Howard (Photo: Florida Highway Patrol)
  • Bryan Maclean Howard is charged in Florida bus accident.
  • 8 Mexican migrant workers were killed.
  • He has a criminal record.

In his first court appearance, prosecutors asked the judge to deny bail for Bryan Maclean Howard, the driver accused of causing a fatal bus crash that killed eight Mexican migrants.

His extensive criminal history — mostly involving driving without a license and fleeing the scene after a collision — were the main arguments presented by the prosecution.

They requested that Howard remain in police custody at the Marion jail.

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Bryan Maclean Howard charged in fatal bus crash

Mexican migrants, dead, farm, Florida, accident, Bryan Maclean Howard
Photo: Florida Highway Patrol

The defendant appeared in court with a bandage covering much of his head, ears and chin.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, he was injured after crashing his 2001 Ford Ranger into the bus carrying 53 agricultural workers.

The hearing for the only person charged in the fatal accident started very early.

Before hearing the arguments from the prosecution and defense lawyers, the judge read the charges against Bryan Maclean Howard, which currently include eight counts of manslaughter by DUI.

Howard was also injured in the crash

Mexican migrants, dead, farm, Florida, accident
Photo: Florida Highway Patrol

Charges may increase in future hearings due to the number of injuriesand health complications among some of the survivors.

According to information provided by the Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs, the eight deceased victims were Mexican.

They had entered the country with an H-2A visa to work in agriculture in Florida.

At the time of the accident, the victims were traveling on SR-40 towards Cannon Farms in Dunellon; they were headed to start their day at a watermelon farm.

How did the fatal accident happen?

responsible, accident, dead, Florida, farm
Photo: Florida Highway Patrol

Bryan Maclean Howard crashed his truck into the side of the bus, forcing it off the road and causing it to overturn.

Eight agricultural workers died at the scene, while another 43 were transported to local hospitals, seven of whom, according to the Mexican chancellor, remain in critical condition.

Howard was arrested at the hospital by officers from the Florida Highway Patrol.

Hours later, the list of charges he faced were made public.

Bryan Maclean Howard has a criminal record

Mexican migrants, dead, farm, Florida, accident, Bryan Maclean Howard
Photo: Florida Highway Patrol

Howard’s convictions date from 2006 to about three weeks ago, when he was linked to another traffic accident.

His records include property damage in 2019, as well as driving with a suspended license in 2013 and 2018.

He also had a cannabis possession charge in 2009 and leaving the scene of an accident in 2006, the prosecutor stated in court.

Motivated by these previous offenses, the prosecutor emphasized repeatedly that «given his history of driving with a suspended license, bail should not be granted to ensure he is not operating a motor vehicle.»

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