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howard frankland bridge

the skyway carries i275 over the southern portion of tampa bay.
the hfb carries i275 over the northern portion of tampa bay.
updated: 08.28.17
   other non-skyway tampa bay area bridges

interstate 275 - detailed virtual trip across the hfb. • bridge web cameras
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08.28.17: someone jumps off the hfb
08.28.17, IONTBfb/iontb.com, Howard Frankland: Reports of a person that jumped from the southbound lanes of the bridge. Expect delays. later: Reports that a Road Ranger pull up to the stopped vehicle and subject jumped over. Tampa Fire boat in contact later: Roadway clear
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06.08.16: Dead cats keep showing up on the Howard Frankland Bridge
06.08.16, tampabay.com, Mary Beth Singh was making the same drive from her home in St. Petersburg to her office in Tampa she has made for 12 years when she glanced out the window and saw something that made her sick to her stomach.
A white and silvery gray tabby cat was lying motionless on the left-hand side of the Howard Frankland Bridge northbound near mile marker 35, approaching the hump.
At least five dead cats have been seen along the Howard Frankland over the last 15 days. All five have been found on the left side of the road approaching the hump, but it's unclear how they got there.
In the month Chris Slattery has lived in St. Petersburg, he has seen three dead cats on his commute. They're always on his way to Tampa, always on the left side of the bridge and always dead.
"It definitely seems too far for them to be getting there on their own," Slattery said of the spot, about 3 miles from the nearest land. "And it's always on the left side of the road. … The right side has enough room for a car to pull over, but they're always on the left."
A few days after she saw the first cat, Singh was on her way to work once again and noticed another one. This time, the cat was alive, but badly hurt. It was different from the last one — this one was tortoise-shell colored and curled up in a ball against the wall.
Singh said the cat lifted its head up and looked right at her, so she called the Florida Highway Patrol.
The next day, she made the drive again, praying that she wouldn't pass the injured cat.
"I kept thinking, 'Please let that cat be gone, please let that cat be gone,' " she said. "And it was gone. But then there was another one."
This time, the cat was black and white and definitely dead. It was the third cat she'd seen in less than two weeks.
The Florida Highway Patrol has received one report of a cat on the left shoulder of the bridge at the 35 mile marker, Sgt. Steve Gaskins said. But the trooper was unable to find any cats.
Bill Cowherd has seen two cats on his way from Pass-a-Grille to Tampa, where he owns a warehouse. Usually, he's got his eyes fixated on the cars ahead of him, but the dark tabby he saw at the end of May caught his eye.
"I don't know why it'd cross a bridge because cats aren't too keen on water," he said. "Why would the cat walk over the bridge? I felt sorry for it. What a way to go."
Georgina Race works with both Urgent Cats of Tampa and Save Our Strays, so when she saw a small orange cat on the side of the road, she was perturbed.
"I thought, 'How on earth does a cat get out here without someone's help?' " she said. "I felt horrible because I know someone must have dumped it. . . . I feel like people do it on purpose, honestly. People are sick." (we wonder why this article received dozens more comments from readers than virtually any suicide jumper story ever published in the 'tampabay times'. thanks to Jessica S. S., facebook, for this story.)
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12.22.15: involuntary jumper, male, he's ok!
Leonard Hicks, 34
12.22.15, bradenton.com, Man survives tumble into water after accident on Howard Frankland.

12.23.15, IONTBfb/iontb.com, Man Jumps from Howard Frankland Bridge to Avoid Crash
One man was seriously injured and other jumped into the water after a crash on the Howard Frankland Bridge last night about 10 PM.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a Ford F350 driven by 34 year-old Leonard Hicks of Zephyhills was towing a trailer in the northbound lanes of I-275 on the bridge. The trailer separated and caused the Ford to become disabled in the inside lane. The driver and two passengers got out of the vehicle in an attempt to reattach the trailer.
A Kissimmee man, 24 year-old David Rivera, was traveling in a 2004 Toyota Corolla also in the left lane. His vehicle collided with the rear of the trailer causing serious injuries after he was unable to see the trailer in the roadway. He was transported in serious condition to Tampa General.
In an attempt to avoid being struck by the Toyota, 41 year-old Ismel Hernandez of Land O Lakes jumped off the bridge into the water. First responders were able to throw him a rescue rope until a boat could retrieve him from the water.
The driver of the Ford and his two passenger only experienced minor injuries and were transported to Tampa General.
HHiHicks was issued a citation for having an improper/unsecure load.

12.22.15, baynews9.com, Man rescued from water after accident on Howard Frankland.

12.23.15, baynews9.com, Man who jumped off Howard Frankland bridge speaks out.
By Josh Rojas, Reporter
LAND O' LAKES -- A Land O' Lakes man said he was forced to jump off the Howard Frankland Bridge Tuesday night into the water below to avoid being crushed to death between a trailer and car.
"I would've died if I didn't jump," said Ismel Hernandez, 41. "It was very dark, the water was cold and I was afraid of sharks."
Hernandez and another passenger, Steve Carballo, 27, were riding in a pickup truck that was being driven by Leonard Hicks, 34, northbound on I-275 at 10 p.m., when their trailer separated at milepost 36, causing the vehicle to become disabled in the inside lane, according the Florida Highway Patrol.
Troopers said the men were attempting to secure the trailer when a car being driven by David Rivera, 24, plowed into it.
"It all happened instantaneously," Hernandez said. "The car hit towards me and I jumped over the railing into the water."
Hernandez said he did a belly flop into Tampa Bay and was forced to tread water for more than a half hour with big fish circling him, before a rope was thrown to him and he was rescued.
"I am happy to be alive," he said.
Hernandez, who's from Cuba, said he has only been in the United States for 4 months and it was his first day on the job as a general contractor for a company out of Lutz. The Land O' Lakes man said his body was sore from hitting the water and he had some road rash on his arm but was otherwise OK.
"It was very traumatic," said Hernandez.
The driver of the car was not cited because troopers determined he was unable to see the trailer in time to stop. Hicks was cited for improper or unsecured load. Nobody was seriously injured in the crash, according to FHP.
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08.05.12: jumper, male, died
Jonnie Butler, III, 23
08.07.12, tampabay.com, Body of man who jumped from Howard Frankland Bridge recovered
Times staff
ST. PETERSBURG — The body of a man who emergency responders said leaped off the Howard Frankland Bridge several days ago was seen floating nearby early Tuesday and was recovered by authorities.
The recovery effort began about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday after a helicopter unit reported seeing the body halfway between the Howard Frankland and the Courtney Campbell Causeway, Coast Guard officials said.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is investigating.
Authorities think the man, who has not yet been identified, is a missing St. Petersburg resident whose vehicle was discovered on the causeway Sunday.
The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's Office will determine the cause of death, and identify the man through dental record

08.14.12, tampabay.com, Authorities identify man found dead after jumping from Howard Frankland last week
By Kim Wilmath, Times Staff Writer
TAMPA — A man whose body was found floating near the Courtney Campbell Parkway last week has been identified as Jonnie Butler, III, a 23-year-old St. Petersburg man.
Butler was found Aug. 7 after authorities said he jumped from the Howard Frankland Bridge several days earlier.
His car was found on the span of the causeway Aug. 5./td>
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07.20.12: jumper, male, died
Michael Medina, 47
07.20.12, tampabay.com, Man apparently calls 911, then dies after leap from the Howard Frankland Bridge, officials say By Marissa Lang and Michael Finch II, Times Staff Writers
TAMPA — A man who died Friday morning after jumping off the Howard Frankland Bridge apparently called 911 earlier in the day from a home in Hernando County, according to sheriff's officials.
A man dialed 911 at 10:22 a.m. and said "hospital" before leaving an address and hanging up, authorities said.
When rescue personnel arrived at the home, they found what was described as a "crime scene," Hernando County sheriff's officials said.
No one was at the home, but authorities suspected that someone inside had recently been seriously injured. They put out an alert for deputies to be on the lookout for a maroon SUV belonging to the home's residents.
Just before noon, 911 operators near Tampa received calls saying a man had jumped from the highest point of the northbound span of the Howard Frankland Bridge.
The unidentified man was dead in the water by the time rescue crews arrived.
He jumped after getting out of a maroon SUV, authorities said.
"Why he jumped off the bridge? We don't know," said Lt. Donny Peter, who responded to the scene.
State troopers and Tampa police officers congregated on the shoulder of the Howard Frankland with a man who was believed to have been driving the SUV.
The body was brought ashore via the Courtney Campbell Parkway boat ramp, police said.
Peter said the Howard Frankland is an unusual spot for jumpers, but he declined to call the incident a suicide.
"I don't want to call it a suicide or a homicide or anything yet," he said. "All we know is that for some reason, somebody jumped off the bridge."
The cause of death will be determined by the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's Office.
Officials did not immediately identify the man, pending the notification of family members.
An investigation is ongoing.

07.21.12, tampabay.com, Authorities identify man who jumped from Howard Frankland Bridge,
Times staff
TAMPA — Authorities have identified a man who died Friday morning after jumping off the Howard Frankland Bridge.
Earlier in the day, Michael Medina, 47, had apparently tried to commit suicide at his home off Tarrytown Drive in Spring Hill. Authorities say he then called 911. Before paramedics arrived, Medina convinced his roommate to take him to a hospital.
Medina refused to go to a hospital in Hernando County, authorities say. The two men drove south until reaching the Howard Frankland Bridge. There, a struggle broke out inside the car.
When the car stopped, authorities say, Medina got out and jumped off the bridge. He died in the water.
Investigators have not said how Medina initially tried to kill himself or what caused his death. The incident is still under investigation.
07.21.12, hernandosheriff.org/pdf, Media Release,
Re: Suspicious Incident – Spring Hill – 2012-22772 - UPDATE
Victim Information – Michael Medina W/M DOB/06-16-1965
Victim Status – Deceased
Synopsis -
On July 20, 2012 at 10:34 a.m., Deputies responded to a home at 7115 Tarrytown Dr. in Spring Hill at the request of Spring Hill Fire/Rescue regarding what appeared to them to be a crime scene. Spring Hill Fire/Rescue was dispatched minutes earlier to a 9-1-1 call that appeared to be medical in nature. Deputies found the residence to be unlocked with no vehicles or persons present.
Initial investigation revealed that Mr. Medina attempted to take his own life inside the residence and then got his roommate to agree to drive him to the hospital. Evidence at the scene and in the vehicle also revealed that the roommate most likely did not know the severity of Mr. Medina’s injury, as he had it covered with a cloth or towel. Once in the vehicle, Mr. Medina insisted on going to a hospital in Tampa, refusing treatment at a local hospital. The pair subsequently drove through western Pasco County into Pinellas County and onto the Howard Frankland Bridge.
Once on the bridge, Medina struggled with the driver (confirmed by witness statements) causing the vehicle to come to an abrupt stop. Michael Medina jumped out of the vehicle and into Tampa Bay, where he perished. Preliminary information obtained by the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, the Tampa Police Department and Florida Highway Patrol (who all worked together on this investigation) indicate this was an unusual suicide.

Original Media Release – 07-20-12
On July 20, 2012 at 10:34 a.m. deputies responded to a residence in Spring Hill to assist Spring Hill Fire/Rescue with what appeared to them to be a “crime scene.”
Earlier, at 10:22 a.m. units from Spring Hill Fire/Rescue were dispatched. A male called 9-1-1 and said “hospital,” verified the address, and disconnected. Upon arriving on scene, paramedics found no one in the residence and what appeared to them to be a crime scene. They quickly requested assistance from the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.
Evidence on scene immediately raised suspicion that someone inside the residence had been seriously injured. Attempts were made to locate the residents, including BOLOs (Be On the Look Out) via the FCIC/NCIC system to other local law enforcement agencies.
At approximately 1:02 p.m., the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center received a call from the Florida Highway Patrol Communications Center, advising they were out with the vehicle in question on the Howard Frankland Bridge (on the eastbound side). According to preliminary witness accounts, an occupant of the vehicle had jumped off the bridge into the water. The body has been recovered and turned over to the Medical Examiner, who will determine the exact cause of death. The Tampa Police Department and Florida Highway Patrol have taken over that portion of the investigation.
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02.24.11: jumper, male, trying to escape police custody, lives, arrested.
Matthew Clifford Rushing, 27
02.24.11, tbnweekly.com, Howard Frankland Bridge jumper arrested,
A Tampa man, carrying a backpack full of money, was arrested Thursday morning after jumping from the Howard Frankland Bridge to avoid a law enforcement officer.
The incident started when a silver 2007 Cadillac CTS, driven by Anthony Gentry, 25, of Safety Harbor, rear-ended a black 2009 Nissan Maxima, driven by Todd Anderson, 44, of Tampa just after 8 a.m. Feb. 24, according to a report from the Florida Highway Patrol. The vehicles were traveling southbound in the inside travel lane.
While investigating the crash, a Florida Highway Patrol community service officer, discovered that Matthew Clifford Rushing, 27, a passenger in the Cadillac, was wanted for violation of probation for driving on a suspended driver’s license and a warrant for his arrest had been issued in Manatee County.
The community service officer, who had no arrest authority, called for a trooper to assist. While waiting for the trooper to arrive, Rushing began to walk away from the crash scene to the northbound lanes of Howard Frankland, the report said. When the trooper arrived, he approached Rushing and attempted to take him into custody.
Rushing fled and jumped into Tampa Bay.
Marine and air units from local law enforcement agencies were requested to provide assistance. Tampa Police marine and air units responded and Rushing was taken into custody about 20 minutes later. He was taken to Bayfront Medical Center for treatment of cuts and hypothermia.
Sgt. Steve Gaskins, public affairs officer - Troop C, said Rushing had a backpack full of a large sum of money. The amount of money was not released. Other law enforcement agencies, which were not identified, are interested in talking with Rushing concerning the money, he said.
The FHP is charging Rushing with obstruction/resisting arrest. Gaskins said Rushing was cooperative after his was taken into custody.
Traffic on the bridge was slowed and/or stopped for about an hour in both directions during the incident.

02.24.11, abcactionnews.com,
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07.27.10: woman's topless road rage incident
unknown, 30
07.28.10, examiner.com, Woman takes off shirt, jumps on man's car topless and stops traffic in apparent road rage incident
A St. Petersburg woman was apprehended after an apparent road rage incident. According to reports, on Tuesday, July 27, 2010 at approximately 4:00 p.m., an unidentified, white, 30-year-old woman exited her vehicle, removed her shirt, jumped on a man’s car and flashed the driver behind the wheel.
The Florida Highway Patrol arrived at the scene and attempted to apprehended the topless woman who proceeded to flee from authorities on foot. The incident took place on the Howard Frankland Bridge and reports say the topless woman backed up traffic along the St. Pete side of the bridge as she attempted to escape. The FHP reports the woman threatened to harm herself.
The woman was apprehended and was taken to a hospital for psychological treatment for her own safety under the Baker Act. (is the term 'crazy woman' needlessly redundant?)
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03.10.09: save, male
unknown, 51
03.10.09, cnn.com, Police use Taser to prevent man's economy-related suicide, By Ashley Broughton, CNN
It didn't matter what officers said to him: The man was going to jump.
The 51-year-old was spotted Tuesday morning by a Tampa, Florida, citizen, perched on the northbound side of the Howard Frankland Bridge, which carries Interstate 275 over Old Tampa Bay. The citizen called police.
The story the man told was all too common, according to Tampa Police Department Officer Jeff Kritz. He said he was a carpenter by profession, earning $65 an hour at one time. But over the past three years, as the economy spiraled downward, he said he had lost his business, his home and his family -- his wife had divorced him, Kritz said, and his daughter was estranged.
The man came to Tampa from Rhode Island 2½ weeks ago seeking warmer weather, but has been homeless. He said he slept in the Tampa airport Monday night, but authorities threw him out on Tuesday.
So "today was the day," Kritz said. "He said, 'That's enough.'
"He never, ever thought in a million years that he would be in this kind of position," Kritz said. "He said, 'I'm on the street with nothing.'"
Another officer had already responded when Kritz pulled up to the bridge about 10:45 a.m.
"When I pulled up, he got a little nervous," Kritz said. He positioned himself behind the man, showing the other officer his Taser and maintaining eye contact. The first officer kept the man occupied, telling him Kritz was there to keep traffic away.
The man was clearly determined to end his life, so Kritz used his Taser on him.
"I knew I didn't want to go hands-on," he said. "I didn't want to wrestle him."
He didn't want to use the Taser either, Kritz said. "I'd much rather see him come down ... but that wasn't going to happen."
As Kritz used the device, which delivers a shock via wires with electrodes at their ends, the man froze, his muscles tightened and he slipped to the ground gently as the officers handcuffed him.
As he was loaded into an ambulance that would take him to a crisis center, the man began to cry -- "a good cry. It's like you're letting it out," Kritz said. "He was very thankful. He wanted help."
Kritz walked over to him and said, "Everything is going to be OK. Give me a hug."
The two embraced, and Kritz said the man told him: " 'Brother, that was from the heart. That was awesome.' "
The officer said he was thrilled with the outcome Tuesday, but noted that suicide calls are becoming more common as a result of the economic downturn, and some -- like an economy-related suicide by hanging a few days ago in the Tampa area -- don't have happy endings.
In talking to the man, Kritz said the officers tried to tell him that "a lot of us are in this situation, there is help out there ... I can get him the help he needs. Although he says 'There's nothing you can do,' you continue talking."
But he said he was convinced the man was serious and his decision was final. "He was gonna go," Kritz said. "That's why I decided to Tase him."
"He was a regular guy," Kritz said. "He's a regular guy that is just caught up in this economy.... The sad part is, it could be one of us in a few years. Nobody's immune from this."

07.30.09, tampabay.com, Tampa police honored for actions stopping a suicide attempt, By Robbyn Mitchell, Times staff writer
TAMPA — Two local police officers received a national recognition for quick thinking tactics that stopped a man from jumping off the Howard Frankland bridge in March.
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund named Master Patrol Officer Jeffrey Kritz and Harry Augello their June 2009 Officers of the Month.
Augello tried to talk the 51-year-old man down from the bridge on March 10, and when more officers arrived he became even more determined.
Police said the carpenter had moved to the city two weeks before from Rhode Island after losing his business, home and family.
To calm the situation, Augello kept talking to the man while Kritz pretended to be directing traffic, according to the Tampa Police. Then when the man was distracted, Kritz Tasered him to stop him from jumping.
Both officers will be honored at the Memorial Fund's annual banquet in Washington, D.C. next year. ("hey, buddy, looky there, a quarter!" zzzzzap! good work, boys, here's a national award!)
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01.28.08: save, female
unknown
01.30.08, sptimes.com, A wait for help heightened rescue drama.
An officer wanted to dive into the bay earlier, but his supervisors said a boat was on the way.
By ABBIE VANSICKLE, Times Staff Writer
TAMPA - The Tampa police officers peered into the water below the Howard Frankland bridge and saw a young woman clinging to a concrete piling.
Please help, she cried.
It was about 7:30 p.m. Monday.
Someone had spotted the woman stop her car on the side of the bridge, get out and jump off. The passer-by called police.
Officer Ryan Jurjevich and other police arrived.
Raised among the lakes of rural Wisconsin, Jurjevich, 26, is a strong swimmer. Luckily, he had his flippers in the car.
The woman, who appeared to be in her early 20s, looked cold and helpless, he said.
Jurjevich wanted to dive in right then, but his supervisors told him to wait. They hoped a Coast Guard boat would arrive.
As time passed, the woman looked like she was slipping under the surface. The police thought they had only moments to save her.
Jurjevich jumped.
The water was so cold it stole his breath.
"She's telling me to please help, that she's sorry," Jurjevich said.
He grabbed the woman and snapped her into a life preserver. The officers above lowered a rope, and pulled the pair along the bridge toward a concrete access road that snakes below part of the bridge.
The officer and the woman bobbed along, the woman holding onto his waist. About halfway there, though, the woman lost consciousness, he said.
He wrapped his legs around her and paddled on his back, fearing that if he let go, she would drift away.
When they reached the road, the woman was taken to a hospital. Further information about her was not available.
Emergency crews put Jurjevich inside an ambulance, wrapping him in a wool blanket to raise his body temperature.
He was taken to Memorial Hospital of Tampa. It took more than an hour for his body temperature to return to normal levels because of the chilly water.
At a press conference Tuesday, two people stood off to the side, watching Jurjevich talk to television crews.
Jim, 56, and Peggy Lefeber, 54, are the officer's parents. They came down from Oshkosh, Wis., last weekend for a visit. They had been planning to meet him for dinner in South Tampa on Monday night.
Instead, they worried as they waited for a phone call. When they heard what happened, they worried even more.
"You know, it kind of makes your heart sink," Peggy Lefeber said.
When she saw him later that night, her fears were eased.
By Tuesday, they were all smiles.
"Well, I think it was pretty brave," Jim Lefeber said. "We're really proud."
From the safety of the access road, Jurjevich looked out toward the scene of the rescue.
"It makes you appreciate everything," he said.
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12.14.07: save, male
unknown
12.14.07, wtsp.com, Man rescued after jumping from Howard Frankland Bridge
St. Petersburg, Florida - Rescue crews pulled a man from the water after they say he jumped from the Howard Frankland Bridge Friday morning.
Fire Dispatch says a man parked his PT Cruiser on the bridge, stood beside the railing and then jumped over the side and into Tampa Bay.
Officials say they were able to rescue the man from the water, and have placed him in custody under the Baker Act.
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04.11.98: full article
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01.29.91: an aside...


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05.21.85: jumper, female, died
Incha Kim Dozier, 43
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02.06.81: full article
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03.19.80
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04.29.62: full article
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comment
06.22.05, Phyllis N., Milford, New Jersey, USA, Hello...I have crossed this bridge several times and never new it was the FRANKLAND bridge...Who was Howard Frankland? I am very interested... as I established FRANKLAND HALL MUSEUM after the famous Bostonian Customs Collector..Sir Harry Frankland...1742 in Colonial History....The sir name Frankland seems to be cropping up all over the US....Who is the heritage of this Frankland?..I am proposing an exhibition about the Franklands in the Tampa Bay area. Hope to get some information from you..regards Phyllis N. (Frankland Hall Museum) (howard milhous frankland invented the single hook brassiere clasp that can be easily undone with one hand, while in the back seat of a darkened car with fogged up windows. one day, after an unnerving evening of finger fumbling with an uncooperative, multi-hooked over the shoulder boulder holder, he knew there had to be a better way to unveil the goods. to let the puppies breathe, so to speak. while men around the world owe him gratitude, all he got was a bridge named after him. he was later found dead under a massive pile of scrambled eggs. the death was ruled a suicide.*  put that in your museum.)
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*unbridled fiction
 

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