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FL DUI GROUP Florida DUI Defense Attorney
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Driver Faces 8 Counts of DUI Manslaughter After Crashing Into Bus Carrying Farm Workers


A driver is facing 8 counts of DUI manslaughter and 11 counts of DUI causing serious bodily injury after his pickup truck crashed into a bus carrying several farmworkers in central Florida. The driver, a 41-year-old Florida man, has entered a plea of not guilty to the charges and waived his appearance for an arraignment. Florida Highway Patrol says the driver drove his 2001 Ford pickup into the center line on a two-lane road and struck the bus on the morning of May 14. The ensuing collision caused the bus to careen off the road, strike a tree, and flip over.

The bus was populated by seasonal farmworkers who were on their way to harvest watermelon at Cannon Farms in Dunnellon about an hour northwest of Orlando in Marion County. The crash happened in a rural area with rolling hills, horse farms, and vegetable fields. The arrest report indicates that the suspect had watery eyes and slurred speech after the crash. He told police he didn’t remember what happened.

The night of the crash, the suspect told police that he had taken two anti-seizure drugs and medication for high blood pressure in addition to smoking marijuana oil. He said he woke up about five hours later and found himself driving to a methadone clinic where he receives daily methadone shots for a chipped vertebra.

Police performed several field sobriety tests all of which police say the suspect failed.

Tallying up the charges 

The suspect is facing 8 counts of DUI manslaughter and another 11 counts of DUI causing serious bodily injury.

DUI manslaughter is punishable by up to a 15-year prison sentence in state prison. The charge has a recommended sentence of around 10 years with a mandatory minimum of 4 years in state prison. Since 8 farm workers died in the accident, he is facing 8 individual charges for DUI manslaughter. That gives him a minimum sentence of 32 years on those charges alone. He would face a maximum of 120 years in state prison if he is given the maximum sentence on all charges.

On the DUI causing serious bodily injury charges, the defendant faces a third-degree felony which is punishable by up to 5 years in state prison. Since he is facing 11 charges, he could face a maximum penalty of 55 years behind bars. However, there is no mandatory minimum sentence for DUI causing serious bodily injury. You can face up to 5 years probation, a $5,000 fine, and more. However, given the 8 deaths caused by the suspect, the other penalties pale in comparison to what he is facing on the DUI manslaughter charges.

Talk to an Orlando DUI Defense Attorney Today 

The Orlando, FL DUI defense lawyers at FL DUI Group represent the interests of those who are facing serious DUI charges in the greater Orlando area. Call our office today to schedule an appointment, and we can begin discussing defense strategy right away.


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