TAMPA, Fla. — Kashara Burton had placed her bicycle on a bus at a Tampa intersection, believing she had enough time to board. She attempted to communicate with the bus driver to confirm when the bus would depart, but he couldn’t hear her due to wearing headphones.
This incident occurred one evening last March near USF at the North 27th and East 131st intersection. When the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) bus started moving, Burton chased after it, tapping on its side to get the driver’s attention. As she tried to catch the bus, her bike remained onboard, and she clutched her belongings.
Tragically, Burton found herself on the ground beneath the bus.
“I was run over, and the bus dragged me down the road,” Burton recounted. “It felt like an eternity, and I heard a woman screaming, ‘for the love of God, please stop.'”
In the days that followed, Burton not only experienced physical pain but also emotional distress when she read the crash report from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
According to the report, “The pedestrian lost her footing and fell to the ground.”
“They said that I tripped and fell,” Burton protested. “He hit me. I didn’t fall. The bus hit me, causing me to go down.”
Burton claimed that the report got even worse, stating that the deputy “determined the pedestrian was improperly in the road, causing the crash.”
Burton expressed deep disappointment and felt that she was denied justice. She also alleged that the deputy never interviewed her.
However, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Marco Villareal countered Burton’s claim, stating that a deputy did speak with her “while she was at the hospital.” The crash report did not include Burton’s account but mentioned a “supplemental investigation.” 8 On Your Side requested all documents related to the incident and the bus surveillance video.
HART spokesman Frank Wyszynski declined to comment, citing an active claim against HART.
Burton expressed frustration over the omission of crucial details from the report and surprise at a statement from the driver indicating that he checked “on the woman’s condition” after the accident.
“I was lying on the ground, waiting for EMT,” Burton said. “I never saw his face, and he never came to check if I was okay.”