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Migrant Worker Bus Hits Toll Booth, 20 Injured

August 12, 1987

MIAMI (AP) _ An old bus carrying migrant farmworkers to work tore through a toll plaza and overturned today, injuring between 20 and 30 people, none critically, officials said.

The vehicle, carrying about 50 passengers, hit the plaza this morning on State Road 874, also known as the Don Shula Expressway.

″The bus was heading south when it swerved to avoid a car,″ said Stanley Sowinski, supervisor at the toll plaza. ″It crossed the concrete partition, shot into lane four, hit the machine and wiped it right out.″

The old yellow school bus turned almost on its side and ended up resting against a change booth that was occupied at the time of the accident, said John Carroll, spokesman for Metro-Dade Fire-Rescue.

Two cars were hit either by the bus or its debris but no one in those vehicles sustained serious injuries, said Carroll.

Almost all the victims were Haitian farmworkers believed headed to the Homestead area, he said.

″The most serious have broken arms, cracked heads, possible concussions,″ said Carroll. Four were flown by helicopter to Jackson Memorial Hospital, and the rest were being taken to nearby hospitals by ambulance.

Several people apparently had been thrown through windows of the bus, he said, but most had minor injuries and many refused treatment.

Fire trucks spread foam on the highway to sop up a fuel spill, but there was no fire, said Carroll.

The road was closed northbound after the accident, creating a massive tieup on both the expressway and Florida’s Turnpike.

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