8 Farmworkers dead, dozens injured in Florida bus accident 8 farmworkers dead, dozens injured in Florida bus accident
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8 Farmworkers dead, dozens injured in Florida bus accident

bus crash, florida, marion county, migrants, farmworkers, goldlaw, fatalities, NTSB, OSHA, FWC, U.S. Bureau of Labor, wrongful death, personal injury claim

At least 8 dead as farmworker’s bus overturns in Florida

At least eight farmworkers were killed, and dozens injured in a bus crash that happened Tuesday on a Florida highway in Marion County. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the bus collided with a pick-up truck. Approximately 40 people were taken to local hospitals to receive treatment for their injuries. Some of the injured were in “very serious condition,” said FHP Lieutenant Pat Riordan.

Bus was transporting Migrant Workers

According to reports, a 2010 International Bus carrying approximately 53 farmworkers and a 2001 Ford Ranger pick-up truck sideswiped each other at around 6:35am. The bus left the roadway, careened through a fence, hit a tree, then overturned before coming to rest in a field. The retired school bus was taking the workers to a farm in the area to harvest watermelons. More than 30 ambulances responded to the accident scene to treat and transport the injured.

Additional Deaths Anticipated; Investigation will take time

Due to the severity of the crash, and many of the injuries, authorities said that more deaths are expected. “At this point, we are conducting a massive traffic homicide investigation,” said Lieutenant Riordan. “We have a full team, and then some, here on the scene.” With respect to how long it will take to get answers about the accident, Riordan said, “I can tell you that it’s going to be probably six months, at least, before we conclude, factually, what transpired there today.” The National Transportation Safety Board is also monitoring the situation.

Area is home to many migrants this time of year

With harvest time for many crops in Marion County beginning in April, the area sees many farmworkers this time of year, said Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods. “We’re a very big agricultural county. So, this time of year, we always have migrant workers that are in our county, that are on busses just like this.”

Vehicle crashes were leading cause of death among farm workers in 2022

In 2022, vehicle crashes accounted for the highest number of job-related deaths among farmworkers in the U.S. Out of 171 documented job-related fatalities, 81 were due to vehicle crashes, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor. Although specific causes of all crashes are not available, factors such as these may have played a role:

  • Transportation to and from work sites.

  • The use of older vehicles.

  • The condition of the vehicles.

  • Long working hours leading to fatigue of drivers.

  • Potential unsafe road conditions in rural areas where many of the accidents occurred.

According to reports from organizations like the national Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the National Safety Council (NSC), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the top causes of bus accidents in the U.S. include the following:

1. Driver Error: This is the leading cause, encompassing distractions, fatigue, alcohol/drug impairment, speeding, and aggressive driving.

2. Poor Maintenance: Buses require regular upkeep. Neglected brakes, tires or other mechanical issues can lead to accidents.

3. Road Conditions: Poorly maintained roads, adverse weather, and low visibility can increase accident risk.

4. Other Drivers: Accidents can be caused by other drivers, especially if they are distracted, aggressive, or impaired.

Families of deceased and injured may have cases for wrongful death and personal injury claims

Although the investigation of this bus accident will take a considerable among of time, families of the injured and deceased farmworkers may have cases to file wrongful death and personal injury claims. With respect to any negligent behavior that may have contributed to the accident, potential liable parties can include:

1. The Bus Driver

In many cases, the bus driver can be found at least partially responsible for the accident, This is especially true if the driver was speeding, driving under the influence, engaging in other risky or negligent behavior.

2. The Bus Company/Owner of the Bus

The bus company could also be responsible for an accident that one of their drivers causes. This can happen if the company fails to maintain the bus properly or adequately screen and train its drivers. Additionally, many companies push drivers to work long hours that violate labor laws, which contribute to accidents.

3. The Bus Manufacturer

In some cases, a defective part of the bus may have caused or contributed to the accident. In this case, the manufacturer of the defective part could be held liable.

Why GOLDLAW is the Right Choice to handle your claim

If you have a family member who was injured or killed in a bus accident, GOLDLAW’s experienced vehicle accident lawyers can help you get the compensation your family deserves. Why is GOLDLAW the right choice?

  • GOLDLAW has the resources and firepower that many firms do not. We can battle the insurance companies with deep pockets!

  • GOLDLAW fully understands the pain and anguish you are experiencing, and are here to help in ANY way possible.

  • With GOLDLAW, you will ALWAYS know exactly where you case stands

For a FREE consultation, “Choose the 2’s,” and call (561) 222-2222, or click here to tell us about your situation!