Remembering The 1980 Sunshine Skyway Bridge Disaster

I remember the Sunshine Skyway disaster in 1980. I was on my way to the lot when the news came on the radio that the bridge was down. I was not in a rush that day, so I drove to Fort Desoto Park. From the south beach, the Summit Venture that collided with the bridge could be seen with part of the bridge hanging over its bow.

Sunshine Skyway Bridge Collapse
Dick Hornbuckles 1976 Yellow Buick Skylark That Stopped In Time

That Yellow 1976 Buick Skylark that stopped just before driving into Tampa Bay belonged to a car dealer I knew. His name was Dick Hornbuckle, and he was a wholesaler at St Petersburg’s Apollo Auto Sales. Ole Hornbuckle had a set of titanium *****, and after getting out of the car and running a safe distance away. He remembers his Gold Cubs in the trunk and returned to retrieve them. I’d still be running south!

Six cars, a truck, and a bus fell 150 feet into Tampa Bay. More than 40 years later, a new bridge stands as a testament to Tampa Bay and the 35 killed. Video credit Fox 13 News Tampa Bay

Catalyst Reports: It was the Friday before Mother’s Day, and six students from Alabama’s Tuskegee University were traveling home to Florida together. After their long journey, they were ready to get off the Greyhound bus, stretch their weary legs, breathe the fresh air, and hug their moms. Fifteen minutes after they departed the St. Petersburg station, they were all dead. The ship Summit Venture crashed into the Skyway Bridge.

A major bridge in Baltimore in the US state of Maryland collapsed after a container ship collided with it early on Tuesday, sending several vehicles into the chilly waters. Rescuers pulled out two survivors and were searching for more in the Patapsco River after reports that a 948ft Singapore-flagged container ship leaving port on its way to Sri Lanka had crashed into the 1.6-mile (2.57-km) Francis Scott Key Bridge,

MAYDAY Radio Call – The Sunshine Skyway Bridge Impacted by MV Summit Venture. Video credit, Bic/YouTube

Everyone who lived in the Bay Area in 1980 remembers where they were when they heard about the Skyway disaster. The shock was great. It was the end of our innocence; sudden violence and loss on this scale were new. Here are ten key things about the Sunshine Skyway Bridge disaster and its aftermath.

Tampa Bay harbor pilot John Lerro, the 39-year-old at Summit Venture’s controls, was vilified by the media and the public and scapegoated by the state’s Department of Professional Regulation, which publicly criticized him and stripped him of his license. Despite today’s stigma, they needed a fall guy, and Lerro was it!

I'm a Single original Floridian at 72 and still going. strong! I'm also a MAGA Republican and vocal Donald J. Trump supporter.. Lets face the facts Joe and his corrupt three letter agencies have forgot about our constitution! There IS but one choice for America, that's 🇺🇸 MAGA! 🇺🇸 Our fearless leader will be expanding GITMO soon! ☒