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Sun Jul 3, 2016, 09:31 AM

Florida: 5 dead, 25 hospitalized in Wakulla County bus crash

5 dead, 25 hospitalized in Wakulla County bus crash
Karl Etters, Democrat staff writer 11:28 p.m. EDT July 2, 2016

Charred rubble, personal effects and bloody medical gear littered the side of Coastal Highway 98 in Wakulla after five people, including one child, died in an early-morning crash Saturday.

The fire-gutted frame was all that remained of a refurbished school bus, carrying as many as 35 Haitian migrant workers and their families. The semi-truck that the bus hit was equally destroyed.

The truck disintegrated on impact after the bus blew through the blinking red light that leads south to the city of St. Marks.

Its engine block and shredded front tires still sat on the side of the road in a puddle of muddy water as emergency officials tried to piece together what happened. Small trinkets, coolers once packed with food and drinks, pillows and a watermelon lay in the grass near the burning bus. On a sign post nearby was a smudged, bloody palm print.

Florida Highway Patrol investigators say the southbound bus did not stop for the light, hit the truck that was heading west, and then slammed into a power pole around 5 a.m. Skid marks just feet from the intersection indicate the semi-truck may have only braked seconds before impact.
More: http://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/2016/07/02/5-dead-25-hospitalized-wakulla-county-bus-crash/86632540/


The bus full of Haitian migrant workers was traveling from Bainbridge, Georgia to Belle Glade, Florida for a few weeks of work. The route they were on would have taken about eight hours to drive - I bet the workers were not going to be paid for their travel time. I also bet they have no benefits and no medical coverage.

What's odd is that the intersection where the accident happened is not a direct route south or the faster way south. US 98 along the coast is two lanes from that point until it joins US 27/US 19 at Perry. Also coastal fog makes driving slower some mornings. From Bainbridge, it is fastest to take US 84 east to I-75 or US 27 from Bainbridge to I-10 then east to I-75 , then 75 to the Turnpike. If they wanted to avoid tolls they could take US 27 south from I-75. Or just take US 27 all the way from Bainbridge to Belle Glade.

While they can stay on US 98 all the way from that intersection of US 319 and 98 where the accident happened, it is less direct and much slower that almost any other route.

The major advantage with taking US 98 is that there are no agricultural checkpoints - and maybe they avoid the possibility of being stopped so that papers for the workers can be checked.

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Reply Florida: 5 dead, 25 hospitalized in Wakulla County bus crash (Original post)
csziggy Jul 2016 OP
Tommy_Carcetti Jul 2016 #1
csziggy Jul 2016 #2
TexasMommaWithAHat Jul 2016 #3

Response to csziggy (Original post)

Sun Jul 3, 2016, 10:03 AM

1. Belle Glade is a very impoverished town that benefits greatly....

....from the exploitment of immigrant labor.

Ironically, drive 40 miles due east and you'll end up in the multi-million dollar palaces of Palm Beach.

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Response to Tommy_Carcetti (Reply #1)

Sun Jul 3, 2016, 10:12 AM

2. Yes, when I was in elementary school CBS produced their documentary

"Harvest of Shame"



I had a friend whose parents were migrant workers and saw the appalling conditions of the shacks they were expected to live in. They came to our town to pick citrus, traveled south to Belle Glade and west to Plant City to pick produce, then north for other crops during the various seasons.

When I saw Harvest of Shame I realized that it was not just her family or the other dozen or so that lived in the migrant enclave a few blocks from our house, it was thousands of people being forced to work for slave wages and live in disgusting conditions.

My friend never returned to school after grade five or six. I suspect she had to work to help support the family.

Nothing has changed in all these years:

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Response to csziggy (Reply #2)

Sun Jul 3, 2016, 10:46 AM

3. I wish I could recommend your post.

nt

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