The 2022 season of "Welcome to Florida" has been about uncovering forgotten stories. We continue today as the anniversary of the Tampa Bay Skyway Bridge collapse approaches. On May 9, 1980, a freighter was blown off course by a freak weather system and into a piling of the bridge. The collision caused a span of the bridge to collapse, sending 35 travelers over the edge and to their death below. Bill DeYoung wrote the definitive book on the tragedy, "Skyway: The True Story of Tampa Bay's Signature Bridge and the Man Who Brought it Down." Bill, a St. Pete native who now works at the St. Petersburg Catalyst, a local news source, joins us to discuss the accident and the ship's pilot.
Craig Pittman is the award-winning author of Oh, Florida!: How America’s Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country, The Scent of Scandal, Cat Tale, Manatee Insanity and The State You’re In, and co-author of Paving Paradise. Born in Pensacola, he graduated from Troy State University in Alabama, where his muckraking work for the student paper prompted an agitated dean to label him “the most destructive force on campus.” Since then he has covered a variety of newspaper beats and quite a few natural disasters, including hurricanes, wildfires and the Florida Legislature. His next book will be titled The State You’re In.