Sunshine Skyway Bridge

St. Petersburg Fire Rescue

One person has died after a car crashed off a fishing pier near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge on Wednesday afternoon, according to Florida Highway Patrol.

Authorities have identified the driver, who was killed, as 52-year-old Richard K. McCrocklin, of Eustis.

Skyway Bridge Memorial Will Be Unveiled Saturday

May 8, 2015
State Archives of Florida

May 9 marks the 35th anniversary of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge accident that killed 35 people.

A memorial for the victims will be unveiled Saturday at 11 a.m. at Blackthorn Memorial Park in St. Petersburg.

Bill DeYoung of St. Petersburg , who wrote a book about the Skyway disaster, is behind the effort to build a memorial.

"We did a fundraising campaign and raised all the money in about a month, from the community. The state didn't pay for anything, I should say, and the whole cost was about $10,000,” he said.

It was Friday, May 9, 1980 at 7:33 a.m. when the freighter Summit Venture rammed into the Sunshine Skyway Bridge during a severe storm.  The roadway above crashed into the waters of Tampa Bay. Though the blinding rain, drivers in the southbound lanes were unable to see the missing roadway ahead.  Six cars, a truck, and a Greyhound Bus plunged into the waters below, and 35 people were killed.