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Motorist previously convicted, clean record for trucking company in fatal bus crash

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The pickup truck driver in the recent fatal bus crash in Florida had a history of driving incidents, including one just three days prior. 

The Tuesday morning crash in Marion County, Florida claimed the lives of eight people and injured around 40 more when a pickup truck driven by 41-year-old Bryan Maclean Howard crossed the centerline and collided with the bus. 

According to WESH 2, the bus was owned and operated by the Olvera Trucking Corporation and was transporting farm workers to pick watermelons at Cannon Farms in Dunnellon. 

“Never ever has anything like that ever happened. It’s devastating. I don’t remember anything like this ever happening before. The driver has been with us for a while and is experienced,” said the president of Olvera Trucking Corporation. 

The Florida Highway Patrol has launched an investigation into the trucking company, but has found no current complaints or open cases against Olvera. Meanwhile, Howard was involved in a traffic accident  “at least three days prior” to the crash with the bus, and has been convicted of multiple driving-related incidents over the years. 

Howard was convicted of leaving the scene of an accident in 2006, grand theft and driving while his license was suspended, canceled or revoked in 2013, again with driving while his license was suspended, canceled or revoked in 2018, and leaving the scene of an accident with property damage in 2019, reported CNN.

Immediately following the fatal bus crash, Howard told police that he had smoked marijuana oil with a friend the night before, and had taken three prescribed medications before going to sleep at 11:30 p.m. He claims he does not remember the accident, but was “driving very carefully” because of a car accident  “at least three days prior.”

Howard is currently facing eight charges of DUI manslaughter and pleaded not guilty on Wednesday, May 17th. He has been denied bond. 

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