skyway bridge collapse disaster

collapse disaster

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skyway bridge disaster books

updated: 04.02.21
  Skyway: The True Story of Tampa Bay's Signature Bridge and the Man Who Brought It Down

by Bill DeYoung

“Bill DeYoung’s story of the construction of the original and second span of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, of the accident in 1980 that destroyed it, and of John Lerro, the harbor pilot steering the Summit Venture that struck the bridge, is spellbinding and reads like a mystery.”
-Robert Kerstein, author of Key West on the Edge
05.05.15,, Florida Matters: Sunshine Skyway Bridge Disaster 35 Years Later.
This week on Florida Matters, we'll take a look at the disaster with Bill DeYoung. He's the author of "Skyway: The True Story of Tampa Bay's Signature Bridge and the Man Who Brought it Down." In this preview, DeYoung describes what happened at 7:33 on the morning of May 9, 1980.
It was Friday, May 9, 1980 at 7:33 a.m. when the freighter Summit Venture rammed into the Sunshine Skyway Bridge during a severe storm. The roadway above crashed into the waters of Tampa Bay. Though the blinding rain, drivers in the southbound lanes were unable to see the missing roadway ahead. Six cars, a truck, and a Greyhound Bus plunged into the waters below, and 35 people were killed.
  28 minutes
We also hear from co-pilot trainee Bruce Atkins, who was on his last training mission and was alongside Captain John Lerro that morning; and Bill Covert, who led the search and rescue team from nearby Eckerd College.

12.28.16,, The Collapse of Florida’s Sunshine Skyway Bridge
On today’s Topical Currents, we recount the terrible events which caused the collapse of Florida’s Sunshine Skyway Bridge.
Writer and editor Bill DeYoung, has researched events for the book, SKYWAY: The True Story of Tampa Bay’s Signature Bridge, and the Man Who Brought It Down.
Thirty-five people lost their lives on May 9th, 1980, when a 20-thousand-ton vessel rammed a support pier. (It shouldn’t have happened.)
  51 minutes
  Bridge Down

by George Mair

Relates the moment-by-moment account of the 1980 Tampa Bay bridge disaster in which thirty-five people were killed and discusses the dangers of the many unsafe bridges throughout America.
  Disaster on the Sunshine Skyway

by Dale Andrew White

Dale Andrew White presents a fast-paced, moment-by-moment account of the bridge calamity that caused 35 people to plummet to their deaths in Florida's Tampa Bay. A taut, quick read but harrowing nonetheless.
  Skyway Down

by Shirley Dowling

The year 1980 was a year of two maritime tragedies in the Tampa Bay area of central Florida. In January two ships, the Coast Guard buoy tender, U.S.S. Blackthorn and the tanker, S.S. Capricorn collided just 1500 yards west of the Sunshine Skyway bridge, taking the Coast Guard cutter to the bottom of the 50-foot channel. Twenty-three young sailors lost their lives that night. Three months of hearings in the wake of this horrific accident followed, bringing together a young female news reporter from an independent television channel in St. Petersburg and a Boston attorney, on assignment in defense of the tanker Capricorn. A courtship developed into a serious romance as the hearings continued until May 8, at which time a verdict was handed down. In the early morning of May 9, during a severe storm in which all ships in those waters were blinded by the rain and dense fog, the Sunshine Skyway bridge was rammed by the freighter M.V. Summit Venture, collapsing 1200 feet of the bridge and taking 8 vehicles to the bottom of the channel with her. Thirty-five people died in the 150-foot deadly plunge. This is their story.

by Curtis, Page, Skinner

On May 9, 1980 , 35 innocent people met their tragic end when a ship wiped away a quarter mile of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay, Florida.Aided by 45 original eye-witness photos, on-scene journalist Jim Curtis chronicled one of the worst ship-bridge collisions in history, while weaving a true story of how some unsuspecting motorists cheated death while others drove off the bridge and plummeted into Tampa Bay. Photographs from land, sea and air capture the devastation to the Skyway Bridge, the rescue effort, and the final salvage operation after it was discovered only one survived, Wesley MacIntire, also a survivor of D-Day, who proved too tough or too lucky to have perished after he drove off the bridge and fell 150-feet into the bay.The original SKYWAY, published in 1980 and a run away best seller, is included in the newly revised 2nd edition, which includes new photos and a follow up called Aftermath that focuses on the fate of the lone survivor and the ship’s pilot, who many consider the the final victim of this human and maritime tragedy. Aftermath also includes personal accounts from the journalists who covered the Skyway Bridge catastrophe and the lasting impact it made.
  The Sunshine Skyway Bridge: Spanning Tampa Bay

by Nevin and Richard Sitler

Of the more than 5,200 bridges in the state of Florida, the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, spanning scenic Tampa Bay, is by far the most famous. But the award-winning bridge that residents and tourists cross on a daily basis isn't the first to hold the Skyway name. Numerous versions of the current bridge have stretched across lower Tampa Bay, and each has its own remarkable history. Nevin and Ric Sitler detail the suspension cables, concrete, nuts and bolts and political battles that combined to produce the fantastic history of the Skyway bridges and other historic Tampa Bay crossings. Join this father-and-son team on their journey across the historic bay.
  Bridge to Oblivion
skyway based historical fiction

by Henry Hoffman

In one of the worst bridge disasters in American history, a runaway freighter rams the underpinnings of Tampa Bay’s Sunshine Skyway during a morning squall, spilling a string of rush hour passengers to their deaths. For Charlene Gibbs, the sister of one of the victims, this event leads years later to her own fatal plunge from the reopened Skyway, an incident novice detective Adam Fraley witnesses by chance. Puzzled by the official findings, Fraley delves into the circumstances surrounding the death, his digging uncovering a sinister link between the two tragedies and a cover-up initiated by a powerful figure in the community.

photos  •  videos  •  articles: 1980 / 1981-99 / 2000-
the victims  •  memorial  •  documentary  •  books
comments  •  other skyway/boat collisions  •  sitemap
your thoughts or memories about the disaster
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