Remembering the Sunshine Skyway Bridge Disaster exactly 40 years later

Remembering the Sunshine Skyway Bridge Disaster exactly 40 years later
A documentary on the Skyway Bridge Tragedy is available to rent online. (Source: Paul Abercrombie)

TAMPA, Fla. (WWSB) - For thousands of Suncoast residents, the daily commute across the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and being 430 feet above the waters of Tampa Bay is considered a beautiful thing.

With that being said, there was an infamous incident that occurred 40 years ago on this day and it may give you pause the next time you cross it.

On May 9, 1980, during a driving rainstorm, a freighter crashed into the support columns of the southbound bridge. This caused 1200 feet of the suspended roadway to fall and disappear right into the bay.

We’re told that rush-hour motorists who saw the collapse leaped from their cars in the rain to try and warn those behind them, and at least one screamed on the C-B Radio to stop because the bridge was gone.

That’s when three cars, one pick-up truck and a Greyhound bus that was carrying 22 passengers drove past those motorists and toppled off the ragged end of the interstate.

The tragedy claimed the lives of 35 people and only the driver of the pick-up truck survived.

The Skyway Bridge Disaster documentary from Gables & Clark on Vimeo is available to watch now.

You can view the trailer below.

Copyright 2020 WWSB. All rights reserved.