Friday 9th May 1980
The southbound span (opened in 1971) of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Tampa, Florida was destroyed at 7:33 a.m., when the freighter MV Summit Venture collided with a pier (support column) during a blinding thunderstorm, sending over 1200 feet (366m) of the bridge plummeting into Tampa Bay. The collision caused six cars, a truck, and a Greyhound bus to fall 150 feet (46 m) into the water, killing 35 people.One man, Wesley MacIntire, survived the fall when his pickup truck landed on the deck of the Summit Venture before falling into the bay. He sued the company that owned the ship, and settled for $175,000 in 1984. The pilot of the ship, John Lerro, was cleared of wrongdoing by both a state grand jury and a Coast Guard investigation.