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tampa bay area bridges

local non-skyway bridges that have jumper history • updated: 01.11.15

the bridges of tampa bay. larger. • 9 skyway bridge
3 bayside: from the courtney campbell towards the howard frankland.
4 belleair causeway: connecting largo to belleair.
1 clearwater memorial causeway: just west of downtown clearwater.
2 courtney campbell causeway: north of the howard frankland.
8 desoto: carrying us41/301 over the manatee river in bradenton.
15 dick misener: north of the skyway, south of the northern toll plaza.
6 gandy: in between the howard frankland and the skyway.
5 howard frankland: i275 over northern tampa bay. • webcams
john ringling causeway: sarasota, florida.

13 mlk blvd.: in tampa.
16 sand key: south of clearwater beach.  
 if you have notable news of other bay area bridges or wish to comment, please do.
08.21.14: woman wrecks her jeep, jumps off indian rocks beach bridge (14), and dies.
Robin Smith, 49
08.21.14,, 14-215 Deputies Investigate A Single Vehicle Crash On The Indian Rocks Bridge
Who: Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office - Patrol Operations Bureau, Clearwater Fire Rescue
Robin Smith (Deceased), DOB: 6/08/1965, Address: [withheld] East Gulf Boulevard, Indian Rocks Beach
Vehicle: 1989 Jeep Wrangler
What: Deputies are investigating a crash in Indian Rocks Beach.
Where: The crash took place in the east bound lanes of the Indian Rocks Beach Bridge.
When: The crash occurred on Thursday August 21, 2014 at approximately 4:50 a.m.
How/Why: Deputies responded to a single vehicle crash on the Indian Rocks Bridge, at approximately 4:50 a.m. this morning. The Jeep, driven by Robin Smith, was heading east bound over the bridge. The vehicle struck the concrete guardrail on the bridge and overturned coming to rest on the driver side on the drawbridge portion of the bridge.
The investigation revealed an eye witness who saw the crash and observed Smith exit the wrecked vehicle. Smith then walked to the south side of the bridge, climbed over the railing and jumped into the water. Deputies and fire rescue units initiated a water rescue. A short time later, Smith was recovered unresponsive from the water by Clearwater Fire Department. Smith was transported to a nearby dock and pronounced deceased.
The cause of the crash is unknown. The investigation continues.
08.21.14,, INDIAN ROCKS BEACH, Fla. - The body of a woman was pulled from the Intracoastal Waterway after her car crashed on the Indian Rocks Beach Causeway bridge Thursday morning.
A Jeep, driven by 49-year-old Robin Smith, was eastbound on the bridge and struck a concrete guardrail. The Jeep overturned and came to rest on the driver's side on the drawbridge section.
An eyewitness told police that Smith was seen getting out of the vehicle. She then walked to the south side of the bridge, climbed over the railing and jumped.
She was found a short time later and taken to a dock where she was pronounced dead.
A dog left behind was picked up by Animal Control. The investigation continues.


04.06.14: Pinellas deputies keep man from jumping off Bay Pines Bridge (12) in Seminole.
unknown, 24
In police work, calls can’t be planned, and a deputy has to adapt to every situation.
So it was that three Pinellas County deputies found themselves on Sunday morning trying to talk a 24-year-old man off the Bay Pines Bridge in Seminole, where he was threatening to commit suicide.
Deputy Troy Savetz, Cpl. James Brueckner and Sgt. Jeff Esterline teamed up to prevent the man from jumping.
“When you can save somebody’s life, it’s a good feeling,” Savetz said. “It’s the best feeling in the world. It makes it worth putting on this uniform every day.”
The three men were called to the Bay Pines Bridge just before 10 a.m. They found a man yelling that if they got close, he would jump.
Brueckner and Esterline approached the man on his right side but stayed a good distance away, continually talking to the man to keep his attention.
As they spoke to him, Savetz walked around the man, out of his line of sight. He then inconspicuously walked behind the man and tackled him. The three officers then safely restrained him on the bridge.
“I knew what I was going to do,” Savetz said. “I had it on my mind that would be the only way to get him down.”
Savetz, 36, has worked for the sheriff’s office for nearly two years. Before that, he worked as a police officer for eight years with the City of St. Louis Police Department. Brueckner, 54, has worked for the sheriff’s office since 1997, and Esterline, 52, has worked for the sheriff’s office since 1987.
This was Savetz’s first time physically rescuing someone who was threatening to commit suicide, he said.
In this case, the three officers knew they had to act quickly. By the time they got to the scene, it took them about two minutes to rescue the man, who was distraught over financial and relationship issues. He struggled after being pulled off the bridge and the deputies eventually used a stun gun to subdue him. The man was taken to the hospital in an ambulance but wasn’t injured, the sheriff’s office said.
In the ambulance, he thanked the officers for saving his life, Savetz said. He said he spoke to the man in the patrol car and at the hospital about coping with difficult issues and gave him his phone number. Call anytime, he told the man.
All three officers have taken Crisis Intervention Training, which teaches deputies how to recognize and deal with mental health issues, the sheriff’s office said.
“You learn to adapt,” Savetz said. “You learn to get the job done. Being a deputy sheriff, you have to think on your feet.”

any more info is welcome.
01.12.14: woman saved from 9th street bridge (11) jump, arrested for child abuse.
Erin Carnes, 27
01.20.14,, Bradenton officer saves a life and may one day sing about it
BRADENTON -- The call came in at 3:45 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12, just when Sgt. Anthony "Tony" Cerniglia, supervisor of patrol at the Bradenton Police Department, was about to do roll call.
BPD dispatch was on the phone with a woman who apparently wanted to jump off the Ninth Street Bridge over the Manatee River.
Cerniglia yelled out to Lt. Jeremy Giddens: "Jeremy, take the meeting. I'm going to the bridge."
Cerniglia ran to his patrol car and raced north on Ninth Street to the bridge.
He saw a white sport utility and a pickup truck that had been in an accident, with a woman standing on the side of the bridge.
Cerniglia jumped out of his patrol car and yelled to the woman: "It can't be that bad. Come here and give me a hug!"
That's what Erin Carnes did rather than throwing herself off the bridge.
"I told her it would be OK," Cerniglia said Friday. "I said we would get some care for her."
Whether it was Cerniglia himself, his husky voice or what he said -- or a combination of all three -- that made Carnes reach for his hand and fall into his arms is unknown.
Moments after the rescue, two other Bradenton Police Department officers pulled up, including Officer Michael Waker, who knew Carnes, Cerniglia said.
"Michael had a history with her and they started talking," Cerniglia said. "She was OK then."
As he talked Carnes off the bridge, Cerniglia didn't know she had just left her 1-year-old child by a mailbox by a home in the 1600 block of 17th Street East in Palmetto, according to a Manatee County Sheriff's Office report.
Carnes was then involved in an accident on the bridge before Cerniglia found her. Carnes was later taken to the Manatee County jail on a charge of child abuse
Cerniglia's colleagues at the Bradenton Police Department were not surprised the 15-year veteran knew exactly what to say to Carnes.
"Sgt. Cerniglia's experience and compassion was displayed when he saved this person from drowning or injury," said Deputy Chief Warren Merriman.
Cerniglia, 42, who grew up in West Milford, N.J., and has five sisters and a brother, said he was thrilled the story had a positive outcome.
"It always feels good to save a life," Cerniglia said.
So, how did he know what to say?
"It's just years of experience," said Cerniglia, the first police officer in the family. "I'm nice to people. Usually, if you are
nice to people, you get a nice response. I always try to explain that to the guys. You get more bees with honey."
Cerniglia's unusual voice sounds like a cross between Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard. He is said to have the soul of a country music singer, something he would like to try sometime onstage.
He often gets teased about it, he said.
"I always get kidded about it at work, mocked a bit. I would say Lt. Kevin Bunch does the best imitation of me," Cerniglia said with a laugh, speaking of a colleague and close buddy.
Cerniglia recently discovered his voice, which sounds like parts smoke and whiskey, is actually caused by a paralyzed vocal chord. "I've probably had it since I was a child and never knew it," he said.
His vocal abnormality was never an issue until he became light-headed when reading bedtime stories to his daughters, Madeline, 6, and Abigail, 5.
"When I put my daughters to bed I read out loud," said Cerniglia who met his wife, Tammy, at Manatee Memorial Hospital where she is a nurse practitioner. "The reason I was light-headed is that my paralyzed vocal chord doesn't seal and air gets out, The seal is what keeps air in your system."
Cerniglia is getting surgery on the vocal chord in February. Doctors say his voice will change immediately.
"It's an outpatient procedure," Cerniglia said. "They keep you awake while they are working on the vocal chords so they can adjust it to get a good pitch."
Oddly, the paralyzed vocal chord never impeded him while working out.
"I can still run fast," Cerniglia said. "I run 20 to 30 miles a week and do cross-fit training. I recently ran a 'Tough Mudder' in two hours and 45 minutes."
"The vocal chord doesn't bother me unless I talk a lot or read a book out loud to the kids," Cerniglia added. "I want to finish a book for my kids. That's why I'm getting the surgery."
Cerniglia keeps his cool during all the kidding about his voice. He said he thinks he may be able to sing country music after the surgery and make some money at it when he retires from the force.
Cerniglia, however, said his name would not be easy for country music fans to remember so he plans to adopt a stage name.
"I've decided to call myself Kevin Bunch," Cerniglia said.

any more info is welcome.
Erin Carnes,
arrested for child abuse,
after being saved from jumping. prior arrests
11.13.13: jumper off the 40th street bridge (10) in tampa.
11.13.13,, Police divers search for possible jumper near 40th St. Bridge
Tribune staff
Tampa police dive team is searching for a person who reportedly jumped off the 40th Street bridge.
Investigators are on scene. No one has been located.
A description of the person who police are searching for hasn’t been released.
Stay with for updates.

thanks to Jan. R. on facebook. any more info is welcome.
10.24.13: Selmon Expressway bridge (7) deck suicide, female
10.24.13,, Woman jumps to death off Selmon Expressway,
The eastbound lower deck of the Selmon Expressway was closed earlier this morning after a woman committed suicide.
Tampa police say a woman jumped from the upper deck to the lower eastbound level just before the 50th Street exit, and was later pronounced dead.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the incident occurred this morning just before 6 a.m.
The westbound upper deck is now open, and the eastbound level could be reopened soon, according to Tampa police.
Stay with for updates.

10.24.13,, Woman dies after jumping off expressway,
TAMPA - Tampa police say a woman has died after jumping from the upper deck of the Selmon Expressway Thursday morning.
Much of the expressway near 50th Street was shut down.
The victim has not been identified.
At first, authorities thought the incident was a hit-and-run, but further investigation proved otherwise.
The crash occurred shortly after 5:30 a.m.
The eastbound lanes of the lower deck were shut down.
No other details were immediately available.



any more info is welcome.
05.08.43: woman apparently jumps from the john's pass bridge (17) • full article

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