Florida driver in bus crash used cannabis oil night before, arrest report says

Damaged bus involved in fatal Florida crash
[Octavio Jones/Reuters]

A driver involved in the fatal Florida bus crash has told police he smoked cannabis oil the night before the collision, according to an arrest report.

Police say Bryan Maclean Howard, 41, sideswiped a bus carrying dozens of farm workers with his vehicle.

The Tuesday morning accident killed at least eight people and injured dozens.

Mr Howard also told police he had been in another accident three days before the fatal bus crash.

Police arrested Mr Howard after the crash. He faces eight counts of manslaughter while driving under the influence.

Mr Howard told police he was with a friend who had a medical cannabis card the night before the accident, according to a Florida Highway Patrol arrest report.

He said he smoked the cannabis oil with this friend and later took prescription medication before going to bed.

He told police that he was driving carefully on Tuesday morning because he crashed his mother's car three days earlier when attempting to dodge an animal that ran in front of him.

His speech was slurred and his eyes bloodshot and watery during the interrogation, according to the arrest report.

Mr Howard said he left his parents' house around 06:30 EST (11:30 BST) on Tuesday morning to drive to a methadone clinic where he was receiving treatment for a chipped vertebrae.

More than 50 farm workers were on the bus when Mr Howard's 2001 Ford Ranger, travelling in the opposite direction, collided.

Forty people were taken to hospital after the collision, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety.

The accident happened in Dunnellon, roughly 45 miles (72km) south of Gainesville.

Mr Howard is being held without bond. His next court appearance is in June.