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May 9 marks 42nd anniversary of Sunshine Skyway Bridge collapse

Sunshine Skyway Bridge collapse
Sunshine Skyway Bridge collapse
Published: May. 9, 2022 at 10:41 AM EDT
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MANATEE COUNTY, 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.

On one tragic day in 1980, the Sunshine Skyway Bridge would forever be associated with a devastating event. 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.

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 took 35 lives. The only survivor was the driver of the aforementioned pick-up truck.

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 CB Radio to stop because the bridge was gone.

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