Watch CBS News

Bodycam footage shows aftermath of Florida bus crash that killed at least 8

Florida bus crash kills 8, injures dozens
Arrest made in Florida bus crash that killed 8 people, injured dozens 02:06

In the wake of a bus crash that killed at least eight people and injured dozens more when it overturned in central Florida on Tuesday, authorities who responded to the deadly incident have released body camera footage and dash camera video recorded at the scene.

The body camera footage was taken by Deputy Robert Bosnyak of the Marion County Sheriff's Office and shared with news outlets Thursday, as the county pursues criminal charges against Bryan Maclean Howard, the man accused of sideswiping the bus while driving under the influence. Howard faces eight counts of DUI manslaughter, as authorities say his pickup truck striking the bus is what pushed it off the road and onto a grassy area on the outskirts of the city of Dunnellon.

Bosnyak entered a chaotic scene when he arrived at the site of the crash. Footage shows police vehicles beginning to crowd the shoulder of the highway and responders gathered around the bus, which was visibly damaged and on its side. Over the scanner, a dispatcher informed Bosnyak that there were 53 patients, 13 of whom were critical, in the aftermath of the accident. Officials ultimately said that around 40 people were injured.

Police body camera footage shows the retired school bus overturned in a field outside Dunnellon, Florida, on Tuesday. Marion County Sheriff's Office

"Those 13 critical, they're still going to be stuck inside the bus," Bosnyak replied to the dispatcher. A responder with the fire department then stepped into the bus through its back door, but what happened inside was not clear from the footage. People surrounded the bus in clusters, with some seen standing upright in the field while others paced and at least two people passed a cell phone back and forth between them. Several people were lying in the grass in different spots around the bus. Whether they were injured, and if they were, to what extent, was not obvious in the footage either.

The retired school bus was carrying about 53 migrant farmworkers to a job at a watermelon field about 80 miles northwest of Orlando. It was hit early Tuesday morning by a 2001 Ford Ranger truck driving in the opposite direction on a relatively compact two-lane roadway, Florida Highway Patrol told CBS News in a statement. That collision happened around 6:30 a.m. and sent the bus barreling off course, causing it to hit a nearby fence and a tree before flipping over.

Officials said at least eight people were killed in the crash and around 40 more suffered injuries. Marion County Sheriff's Office

Of those who suffered injuries in the accident, the highway patrol said some injuries were serious enough for a hospital that admitted them to list their conditions as critical on Tuesday. According to the arrest report for Howard, which the Marion County Sheriff's Office released with the video footage, six of at least eight people killed in the crash have been identified as: Jose Heriberto Fraga Acosta, 27; Isaias Miranda Pascal, 21; Manuel Perez Rios, 46; Cristian Salazar Villeda, 24; Alfredo Tovar Sanchez, 20; and Evarado Ventura Hernandez, 30. Two other deceased victims were identified as Hispanic males.

Howard appeared in court, virtually, for the first time on Wednesday. Marion County Judge LeAnn Mackey-Barnes approved his request for a public defender and ordered him to be held without bond. Online court records show that Howard filed a written not guilty plea to the manslaughter charges after his appearance. His next appearance is scheduled for June. 

Manuel Bojorquez, Taylor Johnston and Alex Sundby contributed reporting.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.