HART bus scare likely caused by rock that shattered window, police say

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – After reviewing security video from inside a HART bus, police tell 8 On Your Side a driver was likely injured when a rock hit a window, sending a piece or pieces of glass into the bus.

The incident happened near E. Osborne Avenue and N. 22nd Street around 7 a.m. Tuesday

A HART spokeswoman said the driver was hit by a projectile. Around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Tampa Police Department spokeswoman Jamel Lanee said a rock appears to be the culprit.

“It’s hard to tell if it was a rock. There was the glass splatter. The object had to be harder than a rock,” said Gretta Wright, a passenger who witnessed the scene.

Wright and others quickly helped the driver.

“We just heard a big noise. We didn’t know what the noise was coming from. We just heard it, heard her yell, ‘I’ve been hit. I’ve been hit,'” Wright said to 8 On Your Side.

It comes at a time when drivers are dealing with the COVID-19 crisis, shaking up their daily routines.

Then, in May of 2019, driver Thomas Dunn was stabbed to death by a passenger on board a HART bus. Later that year, another driver was stabbed in the legs by a passenger. That driver survived.

HART officials put in significant safety and security measures in wake of those two attacks.

In Tuesday’s incident, the driver was still conscious and breathing after the incident and was transported to a local hospital.

It is unclear if someone threw the rock or it came up off the road and struck the bus, Lanee said.

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