Crime News Florida

Driver Confess to Police about Alleged Drug Abuse after Killing 8 in Florida in Fatal Crash

Driver Confess to Police about Alleged Drug Abuse after Killing 8 in Florida in Fatal Crash

A man from Florida is accused of hitting and killing eight Mexican farmworkers and hurting dozens more. According to a report, he told police that the night before the fatal crash, he smoked marijuana oil and took prescription drugs.

Authorities say Bryan Maclean Howard, 41, killed eight people when his 2001 Ford Ranger pickup truck hit a bus bringing more than 40 workers to a watermelon farm in Marion County. He was charged with eight counts of DUI manslaughter. Howard told police he wasn’t guilty and was being held without bond.

The Florida Highway Patrol interviewed Howard at a hospital after the crash and said that his eyes were red and watery and that he spoke in a mumbled way, according to the arrest report.

According to an affidavit obtained by The Associated Press, Howard told a detective that he had taken two anti-seizure drugs, medicine for high blood pressure, and smoked marijuana oil on Monday night. He said he woke up about five hours later and was driving to a methadone clinic to get the daily medicine he needs for a broken backbone.

The statement also says that he said he had hit his mother’s car into a tree a few days before while trying to avoid an animal.

Howard then failed several tests to see how drunk he was, and the Florida Highway Patrol said he was jailed for DUI.

Following Howard’s pickup truck hitting the bus, the bus went off the road, went through two fences, and then flipped over.

Police say that all eight of the people who were killed came to the U.S. from Mexico on H-2A farmworker visas. Dozens of others were hurt and stayed in the hospital on Wednesday.

There were six people who were killed. Their names are Evarado Ventura Hernández (30), Cristian Salazar Villeda (24), Alfredo Tovar Sánchez (20), Isaías Miranda Pascal (21), José Heriberto Fraga Acosta (27), and Manuel Pérez Ríos (46).

Marion County court records show that Howard has been in at least three accidents and has a lot of traffic tickets from 2006 on. In one case, he got a ticket for going across the center line of a road.

Records show that his license has been taken away at least three times. The most recent time was in 2021 when he got too many tickets in a year.

Howard was found guilty of grand theft in 2013, and his probation was canceled the next year after he tested positive for cocaine, according to court records.

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