Arrest made after eight killed in Florida farmworker bus crash

A driver has been arrested over a crash that killed eight people and left dozens injured on Tuesday morning, according to Florida Highway Patrol.

Bryan Maclean Howard, 41, faces eight counts of manslaughter while driving under the influence.

Police say he "sideswiped" a bus containing dozens of farmworkers with his 2001 Ford Ranger pickup truck.

Forty people have been taken to medical facilities, said the statement from investigators.

Florida officials said the bus was carrying around 53 farm workers on their way to Cannon Farms, which grows watermelons.

The accident happened in Dunnellon, roughly 45 miles (72km) south of Gainesville, at around 06:35 EST (11:35 BST).

The crash involved a bus and a 2001 Ford Ranger vehicle, which "collided in a sideswiped manner", the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles said in a statement.

The bus veered through a fence and overturned, according to the statement. State troopers arrested Mr Howard.

The site of the accident, State Road 40 West, was temporarily closed.

Aerial footage showed the bus lying on its side, its front section nearly entirely removed and the metal frame crumpled.

The suspect in a mugshot
Bryan Maclean Howard, 41, faces eight counts of manslaughter [Police handout]

A spokesman for the Marion County Sheriff's office told reporters during a news briefing on Tuesday there had been "30 plus ambulances on the scene" helping victims.

Traffic was particularly difficult at this time of year because of the increase in "migrant workers that are in our county on buses just like this", he added.

Mexican Foreign Minister Alicia Bárcena wrote on X, formerly Twitter, that some of the victims were Mexican nationals, though she did not give any further details.

Officials from the Mexican consulate in Orlando have been sent to assist them.

Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods said the workers were "hard-working individuals" who were in the country legally. "There's absolutely nothing wrong with them being here," he said.

Cannon Farms said on Facebook that it was closed on Tuesday "out of respect to the losses and injuries" in the crash.