Driver ‘smoked pot oil’ before fatal crash in Florida

OCALA, Fla. — A man with a long record of dangerous driving told investigators he smoked marijuana oil and took prescription drugs hours before he sideswiped a bus, killing eight Mexican farmworkers and injuring dozens more, according to an arrest report unsealed Wednesday.

Bryan Maclean Howard, 41, pleaded not guilty to driving under the influence-manslaughter and remained jailed without bond for Tuesday’s crash. The Florida Highway Patrol says he drove his 2001 Ford pickup into the center line on a two-lane road and struck the bus, causing it to veer off the road, strike a tree and flip over.

The seasonal farmworkers were on their way early in the morning to harvest watermelon at Cannon Farms in Dunnellon, about 130 kilometers northwest of Orlando in north-central Florida’s Marion County, a rural area of rolling hills with numerous horse farms and abundant fruit and vegetable fields. / AP

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