Migrant workers killed in Florida bus crash are Mexican nationals; oldest victim was 31: Mexican Consul says

Eight people were killed, and dozens of others were injured when a migrant bus and a pickup truck collided in Florida on Tuesday morning, officials said. 

The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) said the crash happened in Marion County shortly after 6:30 a.m. on State Road 40, west of SW 148 Court, on the outskirts of Dunnellon. 

Troopers said the man who was driving the pickup truck that sideswiped the bus carrying over 50 farmworkers was charged with eight counts of DUI manslaughter. Bryan Maclean Howard, 41, is expected to appear before a Marion County judge on Wednesday.

All eight migrant workers killed are from Mexico, according to Orlando-based Mexican Consul Juan Sabines Guerrero. Sabines Guerrero told FOX 35 News that the oldest victim was just 31 years old and had two young children.

RELATED: Truck driver that sideswiped bus in deadly Florida crash charged with 8 counts of DUI manslaughter: FHP

"It’s one of the worst experiences," Sabines Guerrero said. "They’re not criminals, nor illegal immigrants; they are working… hardworking. We lost – the two countries lost very good people."

The bus, owned by Olvera Trucking Corporation, was heading to Dunnellon when FHP Lt. Pat Riordan said Howard was driving in the opposite direction of the bus when it struck the vehicle. Approximately 40 people were injured.

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Troopers are investigating after eight people were killed and 40 people were hurt when a migrant bus and pickup truck collided on State Road 40 in Marion County, Florida. (SKYFOX)

"Some of those are also in very serious condition, so there’s a high probability this may be beyond eight fatalities," said Lt. Riordan.

According to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, the workers were en route to Cannon Farms, where they worked as seasonal workers. The company recorded a message on their voicemail, which said: 

"I just wanted to let everyone know that we are going to be closed due to a tragic accident. Please pray for the families of those involved and the losses of loved ones."

In an effort not to overwhelm one single hospital, dozens of injured workers were sent to five different hospitals in the area. Many of those admitted have since been released. 

As of Tuesday night, according to hospital representatives, at least seven of the injured workers remained in critical condition.