Sunshine Skyway Bridge collapsed 30 years ago

10:29 AM, May 9, 2010   |    comments
The roadway of the original Skyway Bridge fell more than 150 feet into the water below.
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Tampa Bay, Florida - Thirty years ago this weekend, a tanker slammed into the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, causing one span of the original Sunshine Skyway Bridge to collapse into Tampa Bay.

PHOTO GALLERY: Sunshine Skyway Bridge collapse pictures

Thirty five people were killed, including St. Petersburg resident Grace Callaway's son.

Read: Grace Callaway's Skyway Bridge collapse story

Elizabeth MacIntire also remembers the tragedy like it was yesterday. Her husband, Wesley, a truck driver, swam to safety and survived the collapse. He was on his way to work, trying to cross the bridge during the pouring rain, when the freighter slammed into the bridge.

Read: Elizabeth MacIntire's Skyway Bridge collapse story

A U.S. Coast Guard inquiry was held after the disaster. It found that tanker pilot John Lerro contributed to the crash, but so did several things beyond his control. Lerro was allowed to return to his job as a harbor pilot. His role in the disaster haunted him until he died in 2002.

Audio: Mayday call from ship that hit the bridge

Do you have memories of the Skyway Bridge collapse? Where were you when it happened? Leave a comment below and let us know.

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