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Sunshine Skyway Bridge Accident,  May 9,  1980
photo readers shared their memories from the day the Sunshine Skyway bridge collapsed.
  • "That was a day that I will never forget." ~ Ken
  • "I had two former classmates on the bus going back to college; they were high school sweethearts. I will never forget their bodies were among many that died during that time." ~ Patrice
  • "Many of us had nightmares for a long time realizing the terror of those passengers." ~ Marilyn
  • "It was chilling and so surreal. I've never liked driving over long bridges and this brought to life a real fear I think a lot of people have about bridges." ~ Sammie Bond
  • "I remember it like it was yesterday." ~ Vickie Singletary Manning
  • "I was living in MA. when I received a call at work the morning of May 9, 1980. I was told there was an accident on the bridge and no one had heard from my father." ~ Donna Yeomans
  • "I was a dispatcher for FHP at the time. They brought us out onto the bridge in a patrol car to see it -- very eerie." ~ David Krauss
  • "We rushed down to Ft. Desoto and watched the rescue efforts. I remember the surreal vision of looking at the massive spans, but part was missing." ~ Valerie Widner
  • "I was in 10th grade, and they announced it over the PA system. It is one of those tragedies that will be remembered forever -- just like 9/11." ~ Mark Rhodes
  • Were you in the bay area in 1980? Share your memories on Let's Talk or on our Facebook page.

[ERIC MENCHER | Times (1980)]
Richard Hornbuckle's car rests where it skidded to a stop just 14 inches from the edge of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, which was struck by a freighter on May 9, 1980.
Anniversary coverage

Sunshine Skyway Bridge collapse, a look back

Early on the morning of May 9, 1980, 35 people were killed when the Sunshine Skyway bridge collapsed. Twenty-six of the victims of the Sunshine Skyway collapse were passengers on a Greyhound bus. Six cars and one pickup truck also plummeted from the Sunshine Skyway bridge when it collapsed.

Only one person who went over the edge survived -- Wesley MacIntire, the driver of the pickup. He died in 1989.

A famous photograph from the disaster shows a yellow Buick driven by Richard Hornbuckle of St. Petersburg stopped 14 inches short of the Sunshine Skyway bridge's edge. Hornbuckle and his three passengers escaped.

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