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Deadly bus crash in Florida kills 8 farmworkers, injures dozens more

Florida Highway Patrol deputies temporarily closes road
Florida Highway Patrol deputies temporarily closes road

At least eight people were killed and up to 40 more were hospitalized – some critically — after a bus carrying farm workers crashed and overturned early Tuesday morning on a Florida highway Tuesday morning.

The Florida Highway Patrol said that the crash involved a 2010 International retired school bus transporting farm workers and a 2001 Ford Ranger truck, taking place on State Road 40, 500 feet west of SW 148 Court at 6:35 a.m. The crash site is about 45 miles south of Gainesville, northwest of Orlando. Highway Patrol Lt. Pat Riordan said during a news conference that 38 people were hurt, eight of whom are in critical condition and 30 who have non-life-threatening injuries; they were taken to area hospitals after the crash on the outskirts of Dunnellon, Florida. The Marion County Fire Rescue said there were 53 patients total involved in the crash.

The retired school bus was traveling west on the highway and the pickup truck was going east when the truck moved, “for unknown reasons”, toward the center line. According to Riordan, the bus and truck collided in “a sideswipe-type manner,” sending the bus off the road and it went through a fence and hit a tree before it overturned. The bus was taking the workers to a farm in the area, Riordan said, adding that the farmworkers are migrants with documentation. The driver of the Ford pickup was also transported to the hospital with serious injuries, with Riordan stating that ‘at this point, we are conducting a massive traffic homicide investigation,’ adding that investigators will need at least six months to conduct the investigation.

The farm workers were headed to Cannon Farms in Dunnellon, according to NBC affiliate WESH of Orlando. Cannon Farms announced on social media early Tuesday that it’d be closed “out of respect to the losses and injuries endured early this morning in the accident that took place to the Olvera Trucking Harvesting Corp .. Please pray with us for the families and the loved ones involved in this tragic accident. We appreciate your understanding at this difficult time.”

Editorial credit: Hernando Sorzano / Shutterstock.com

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