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Investigators work to identify 2 of the 8 victims killed in Marion DUI bus crash

MARION COUNTY, Fla. — Investigators are still trying to identify two of the eight victims who lost their lives in the tragic bus crash in Marion County.

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“It’s terrible. I feel so bad for the families. They’re hard-working people. It’s terrible. A lot of lives are ruined,” said Albert Musard, a neighbor of Bryan Howard.

Investigators said the eight people killed in the bus crash were all Hispanic males that ranged from ages 20-46. In the reports, it lists two of the victims as unidentified.

The Florida Highway Patrol said the crash happened Tuesday around 6:30 a.m. when Howard drove into the center lane on State Road 40.

Read: Farmworker who was supposed to be on bus that crashed describes what kept him off of it

FHP said he sideswiped the bus carrying 53 migrant workers on their way to work. They said the bus veered off the roadway onto a shoulder, ran through a fence, hit a tree, and flipped into an open pasture.

FHP said eight people died, and approximately 40 were injured.

41-year-old Bryan Howard’s arrest reports obtained by Eyewitness News stated Howard couldn’t explain how the crash happened and denied passing any vehicles or being cut off.

The report also stated that Howard’s eyes were watery and bloodshot, and his speech was slurred while being asked questions by troopers.

Read: Man accused of killing 8 farmworkers in DUI crash denied bond during first appearance

The reports state Howard took a breathalyzer test at 2:26 p.m. and blew a 0.00. The test was given eight hours after the crash happened.

However, it states he failed a field sobriety test that he took at Advent Hospital in Ocala.

Wednesday, Howard had his first court appearance in Marion County.

During the court proceedings, Howard wore an anti-suicide vest and bandages around his head.

Read: More than 170 families who lost loved ones in crashes meet with lawmakers to demand safety changes

The judge said before Tuesday’s crash, Howard was involved in another vehicle crash just three days before.

Court documents obtained by Eyewitness News showed this was not Howard’s first time in trouble with the law.

Since 2003, Howard has been arrested several times for charges including driving with a suspended, expired license, careless driving, and leaving the scene of an accident multiple times.

Howard is being charged with eight counts of DUI manslaughter and is in Marion County jail with no bond.

His next court date is June 18 at 9 a.m.

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