TAMPA — A car discovered crashed and abandoned Saturday night on the Gandy Bridge led to searches from dive teams and boats. But the driver had not gone into the water — he had walked home.
Charles McFadden, 55, suffered some minor injuries and told police he decided to leave his wrecked car and walk to his home at 5000 Culbreath Key Way, authorities said.
Tampa Fire Rescue had responded to the crash in the eastbound lanes of the bridge around 8:15 p.m. Saturday, but found no sign of the driver, said spokeswoman Debra Sue Warshefski.
An unidentified witness told them the driver had jumped into the water, Tampa police Lt. Jack Diaz said. However, the witness left the scene before officials could ask further questions.
Boats and dive teams searched the water around the bridge looking for evidence to explain what happened, officials said.
Police said Sunday morning that an officer had made contact with McFadden at his South Tampa condo.
The vehicle, which sustained front-end damage, likely hit the wall of the bridge on the left lane, then crossed and hit on the right side before coming to a stop between the two lanes, officials said. The airbag was deployed and the windshield cracked, as if McFadden had hit his head.
An investigation was ongoing.