the barrier • by name • search • home
bottom of this page • site map • contact
2007 jump eventsupdated: 12.21.21
have any factual news, updates, or additions?
(our comments follow)
|12.31.07: possible jumper|
12.31.07, Hillsborough Sheriff, SUICIDE ATT-INPR 1 SKYWAY BG 0031 0033
any more info is welcome.
|12.29.07: jumper, 3:45am, male, no hl phones, hit water, died, body found in 5 days
Dustin Benson, 19
|thank you, jumpnews reporters,
12.29.07, unknown, (12.29.07, 03:45am, male, no phones, hit water, died), FHP
12.29.07, one of our "bridge friends", You had one go off early this morning. Havent found him yet, he went off in the middle of the night. Hey dont post that I told you make up someone else's name or use one of your "bridge friends" as the one who told you. At least it wasnt too windy up there this morning. Have a Happy New Year! (thanks for the heads up, "bridge friend". you have a great new year as well.)
any more info is welcome.
|12.29.07, Hillsborough Sheriff, SUICIDE ATT-INPR 1 SKYWAY BG 0351 0604|
12.29.07, tampabay.com, Coast Guard Searching for Possible Skyway Suicide
ST. PETERSBURG -- The Coast Guard began an extensive search Saturday morning for an unidentified 19-year-old man who was reported to have jumped off the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.
The search involves several marine units and a helicopter.
Emergency dispatchers had received a 911 call that a man had jumped off the bridge from the northbound lanes at a point where the bridge is 65 to 75 feet high. The man may have been traveling with friends. The Coast Guard said it has not confirmed that it is a suicide.
Traffic is currently flowing normally on the bridge. -- Times staff writer Bill Levesque
12.29.07, myspace bulletin, MIssing person St pete......... not a joke.... The following is from a friend of mine.............If you can come help please do
Again, this is my cousin, please repost, or let me know if anyone knows more info....Or if you have a boat and some time....go take a trip and help out. Or if you live near a beach, keep an eye out.
The U.S. Coast Guard has confirmed that a 19-year-old man jumped off the Sunshine Skyway bridge early today.
The man, whose identity has not been released, jumped from the northbound lanes just south of the center shortly before 4 a.m., U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Michael Case said. The bridge at that point is 65 to 75 feet high, Case said. The center span is about 197 feet high at its peak.
Case said the man was fishing with friends when he decided to go for a walk. When he did not return, his friends went searching for him in their car and saw him go over the rail, unsure whether he jumped or fell, Case said.
"At this point, we know he jumped,'' said Sondra-Kay Kneen, a Coast Guard spokesperson in St. Petersburg. She did not say how the Coast Guard knows that.
An extensive search for the man by boat and helicopter is continuing and involves agencies from the state and Hillsborough, Pinellas and Manatee counties, Kneen said. Hillsborough has jurisdiction over the Skyway section where the man jumped, she said.
The Skyway remains open while the search continues.
12.30.07, St. Petersburg Times, Man, 19, lost off Skyway bridge, He may have jumped during an argument on his mobile phone. By WILLIAM R. LEVESQUE, Times Staff Writer
ST. PETERSBURG - A 19-year-old Palm Harbor man may have jumped off the Sunshine Skyway bridge early Saturday while he was arguing with someone on his mobile phone.
The Coast Guard called off the search for Dustin Benson about 1:30 p.m. after several marine units and a helicopter were unable to locate him.
Benson and four friends had been drinking and fishing before "he stepped off the bridge" during the argument, said Debbie Carter, a spokeswoman for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, which is involved in the investigation.
"We believe it could have been a suicide," said Carter.
She did not have any additional information, including the identity of the person with whom Benson was arguing or the nature of the argument.
The bridge is up to 75 feet high at the point Benson either fell or jumped from the northbound lanes of the span.
At its highest point, the Sunshine Skyway is about 200 feet high.
01.02.08, tampabay.com, Body discovered after fall from Sunshine Skyway
The body of a Palm Harbor man who stepped off the Sunshine Skyway Bridge last week was recovered today.
According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, Dustin J. Benson, 19, of Palm Harbor, had been fishing and drinking with friends while at the bridge about 3:42 a.m. Saturday.
Friends said Benson wandered away from them while arguing on the phone with someone. The friends went to look for him and discovered him on the northbound side of the bridge, approximately two-thirds of the way to the center span. The friends then saw Benson step off the bridge, according to authorities.
Benson's body was discovered today on Holmes Beach, south of the bridge.
The case is being investigated as a suicide, but it is still unclear whether the fall was intentional.
- Jonathan Abel, Times staff writer
01.06.08, Kristie E., myspace comment, At 19 years old... what the F**K do you have to jump off a bridge for? I mean, really, is life that bad? Its likely you still live at home with the parents, are enjoying the spoils of college life, and tapping some sweet sweet still in high school ass. Ugh... perhaps the person on the other end of the phone was said slut he had been tappin'.... herpes could make a mofo jump off a bridge! Lesson learned- wrap it up! **This has been a public service announcement from the KEEPIN IT REAL FOUNDATION. (if in fact mr. benson jumped of his own accord on account of some female morass, then he was indeed a fool. no one is worth killing yourself over. absolutely no one. ever.)
01.11.08, Austin M., palm harbor, Dustin was a good kid. Always seemed so happy when i was at the paintball feild he use to work at,(Break50). I didnt expect this. He was a normal kid with his whole life ahead of him. He would wipe paint off me when i got hit and acted like i was still in. He was so cool. I send my regards (sorry you lost your friend.)
Puhdat?, Nov 4 2008 12:11 AM, So yeah just stopping by to say I'm still thinking of you and you are always in my heart homey. I love you man and I can't wait to see you in heaven. Hope all is well up there...I just dan't get over it dude, you are actually gone, never stop thinking of you. Love You bro..
Gabe!!!, Nov 2 2008 11:40 PM, hey man, so i guess i finally got the courge to acutlly type something up i guess i was scared too. it was kinda of cool because i open up your page and jack johnson came on. Breakdown which just reminded me of you. bro i've missed you and all your advice and talks we had. and can u believe that with all the advice you gave me im still a VIRGIN. lol well i just wanted to say Happy Fucking Birthday like my friends dad all ways said to me. lol also i watched a movie called One Last Thing n in that movie it said that "when you are born you cry and the world is happy but when you die the world cries but you are happy" and i kno that you are happy now even if your not here i kno your in our hearts. bro i miss ya and RIP Dustin. P.s. hope you found peace.
John Cena is the WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION, Nov 2 2008 12:11 AM, i hope that you have an AMAZING birthday because nobody deserves it more than you! & i hope that wherever you are that you ok and finally at peace and eventhough through the years we werent the best of friends... i still considered you a friend. Rest in Peace Dustin
***Toshia***, Jul 28 2008 8:55 AM, Hey.. So I was going through my pics the other day and came across some with u in them.. U have no idea how much everyone miss's u.. Its wierd though.. When ever we all hung out and u were there and I was upset for some reason.. u were there to bring me around.. U say that everything will work out and then no matter how stubborn I was u would always make me smile and get me to laugh.. I really miss tossing the football around with u at the beach.. I can still see ur face the first time u seen me throw... Im just letting u know that I am still thinking of u.. in fact we all r.. Miss u.. Next I see u we will throw the ball around.. RIP Dustin!!!:-/
Kelly, May 11 2008 11:00 AM, I miss you so much. I just wish you'd walk up the driveway again and everything would be back to normal. We went to the beach last night and I wrote in the sand again. I guess it's my best way to communicate with you.
ZOMBRO, May 1 2008 7:15 PM, hey bro. just wanted to say that i miss u bro its not the same with out well love ya bro brothers for ever
cody, Feb 8 2008 4:03 PM, hey cuz almost 16 never thought you wouldnt be there when i am but you didnt even get to see alaska. well when we meet again ill bring some up with me lol, oh yeah hope you dont mind but you know tears in heaven by ericc clapton? well its pretty much the main song that reminds me of you so im doing a project with it in language arts. had some dreams with you in them one main one was we were sitting in bills front yard at the old house in florida and we were sitting under a silver oak tree at a lawn set with a glass top table and shawn you me a girl from down the street was there and we were talking and i kept asking you when you had to go back or something. i miss you alot and you'll always be the number one cousin love you.
Gabriel A., Feb 8 2008 7:54 AM, just stopping by to say what up, hope all is well!! god bless. -Gabriel
The Amazing Mike, Feb 6 2008 10:44 PM, Dude, this really sucks without you here. I mean everytime I want to go home you pop into my mind and I can never forget you. It means nothing now but you made the world of difference in my life. You are the best guy that anyone can ask for and I hope to see you one day.
I love you man. RIP Dustin Benson.
Mike, Jan 16 2008 11:43 PM, I miss you man. It sucks coming home and not being able to see you. I'll catch up with you one day up there. Rest in peace bro.
Fotinis baby forever, Jan 5 2008 7:17 PM, If anyone would like to join the page that has been created for Dustin it will be the first one on my page......
Fotinis baby forever, Dec 30 2007 9:18 PM, Dustin, Where are u? This is killen Ronnie....
cody, Dec 30 2007 4:32 AM, please still be alive pull off your survival skills. i feel like im doing this for no reason because signs point to your death but i wont believe it untill they have proof but i love you cu and if you reply to this i will call you at least once a week that i can promise. again if u get this i love ya (if these inputs do not show how suicide hurts those left behind, then we give up.)
Joe Winko wiki
12.16.07: possible save, 04:04am
12.16.07, Hillsborough Sheriff,
MENTALLY ILL PERSON, 3839, SKYWAY BG, 0404 0456
any more info is welcome.
|11.04.07: article • The Global Sympathetic Audience
Nick Starr, 27
11.04.07, nytimes.com, ON Aug. 1, Nick Starr, a 27-year-old computer consultant from Tampa, Fla., was tapping text messages into his cellphone, telling hundreds of his virtual friends about his day.
Mr. Starr was using Twitter, a relatively new program that allows its mostly young members to post “miniblogs” — running diaries about the mundane details of their lives, in entries of barely two sentences.
Mr. Starr, who was driving around near his hometown, wrote in Twitter’s characteristic staccato, stream-of-consciousness style about picking up some chicken wings and getting a new haircut. Then his postings took a darker turn.
At 6:02, he sent out a note about a nearby bridge: “Maybe I should jump from it?”
At 8:17, bemoaning his lack of close friends, he speculated about being the first “Twitter suicide.”
At 9:39, there was a final note: “Alright this is it. Parked my car. I wish everyone who ever was nice to me well. See you in the next life.”
Mr. Starr didn’t jump from the bridge, the Sunshine Skyway across Tampa Bay. The police found him asleep in his car the next morning. But the incident didn’t go unnoticed among Twitter users: Mr. Starr’s iPhone was jammed with text messages from people frantically trying to reach him. Some had alerted the local police.
“It got to the point where I didn’t know what to say,” Mr. Starr said in an interview.
Since the introduction of connected computing, real-life events have played out over networks. In 1990, Blair Newman, a member of an early online community, the Well, committed “virtual” suicide by deleting all his posts there; several weeks later he killed himself.
What is different about “quick blogging” tools like Twitter (which imposes a strict character count so it can be easily used on a cellphone) and Tumblr (which allows longer messages as well as photographs) is the degree to which people use them for spontaneous and almost continuous communication. Mainly, they describe the minutiae of their day, but when their lives take more dramatic turns, they often take the network along in real time.
More than 400 people, for example, were part of Mr. Starr’s Twitter network, and his suicidal thoughts suddenly appeared on their cellphones or instant-messaging services. In addition to Mr. Starr’s posts, Twitter members have been able to follow other members’ painful, step-by-step descriptions (the individual posts are called “tweets”) of depression, bouts of binge-drinking and bad break-ups.
One blogger and Twitter user, Leisa Riechelt, wrote in an e-mail message that “quite a few of us have been guilty of some emotional, late night, drunken twittering. Some go back and delete the Twitters the next day, others just leave it on the record.”
But Ms. Riechelt, 32, thinks the microblog experience is valuable for those listening in on personal details, sharing in what she calls “ambient intimacy.” She writes that while others may ask: “Who cares? Who wants this level of detail? Isn’t this all just annoying noise?” she counts herself among those “who find great value in this ongoing noise.” She added, “It helps us get to know people who would otherwise be just acquaintances.”
CERTAINLY, the creators of Twitter, which was introduced in 2006, thought of the technology more as a curiosity for the digital age and gave it a flippant name to match. Users were supposed to answer one question and one question only: “What are you doing?”
Biz Stone, a founder of Twitter, said its use has “dramatically morphed” in its brief history. “People put everything out there,” he said.
Despite the personal turn that many Twitter posts have taken, 90 percent of users agree to have all their posts available to the public — including Mr. Starr, whose entries, including his ghoulish words on Aug. 1, are available at twitter.com.
“There is value to that,” Mr. Stone said. “A sort of social alchemy happens. You put this stuff out there and you don’t know what happens. You might make a friend, get a job or a date.”
One highly connected user of Twitter, Chris Messina, a consultant to businesses and nonprofit groups on how to build online communities, spoke from the perspective of one who writes the posts, rather than one who reads them.
“You can be overwhelmed with feeling alone when you’re used to being connected all the time,” he said, calling Twitter entries “sonic pulses that let us know, hey, we’re really not that alone after all.”
He described how in April he and his partner, Tara Hunt, “had a big fight after we’d been drinking and then she Twittered that she was leaving me.” Because her message went out very late, most of the Twitter users who read the posts were in Australia. Many e-mailed Ms. Hunt to ask what happened. Those messages helped persuade the couple to reconsider. “I don’t know what might have happened if people who care about us (for reasons I can’t necessarily fathom) didn’t intervene and diffuse the situation,” Mr. Messina wrote in an e-mail message.
Ms. Hunt put it this way: “We realized in that moment that Twitter wasn’t a fun game, it was our social safety network connection. After that, you watch what you tweet. Or you also know that if you really need help, you are just a tweet away from it.”
Another couple that has shared its breakups with the online world are Jakob Lodwick and Julia Allison, often via Tumblr. Mr. Lodwick, 26, who is the founder of Vimeo, a video sharing site, said that exposing his life had practical value.
“For example, if I get in a fight with Julia, I’ll take a picture of her with my iPhone and send it to my Tumblr with the caption, ‘She is mad at me,’” he wrote in an e-mail message. “This saves me from catching up one-on-one with my friends and family. They just know we had a fight. So next time I talk to them directly, they are already caught up with me, and the conversation picks up from there.”
Mr. Lodwick, who earlier in his short career was a founder of the successful website College Humor, and Ms. Allison, a dating columnist for Time Out New York, both chronicle their turbulent relationship on personal blogs and elsewhere online. The media gossip site Gawker is addicted to the soap opera, which the couple appear to stoke for their own self-promotion. “Some people follow us as fans,” Mr. Lodwick noted. “I guess people like stories.”
NOT everyone sees the Twitterization of social interactions in a positive light. Shelley Powers, a computer programmer who writes books and a blog, Burningbird, about social networking, said she followed the Nick Starr story as it unfolded online.
“He has a bummer day, talks about it on Twitter, it’s on Digg and then MetaFilter,” she said in an interview. She calls the entire experience “artificial intimacy” and wonders if people were “concerned about it, or were they titillated.”
People in the social networking world, she said, are in a quest for constant communication. “It began with blogging, then blogging with comments, then instant messaging,” she said. “It keeps getting a higher and higher level of interconnectivity, and it becomes almost addicting.”
When Mr. Starr awoke the day after his suicidal posts and began reading the messages left on his cellphone that night, he felt simultaneously touched and mortified. Many Twitter users who knew him personally were frantic to speak with him. Some he had never met were frantic to have him type something, anything, to confirm that he was alive.
One friend, Drew Domkus, reached out to Mr. Starr’s friends in the area and to his parents, reaching his mother in Tampa. He also contacted the police. “I even sent them a photo of his car showing his license plate,” he said.
Mr. Starr contacted Mr. Domkus the next day, but, feeling embarrassed by his posts, waited for weeks before posting an apology of sorts to his virtual friends.
“It certainly is bigger than you think it is,” he said about his Twitter circle of friends. “Even if it is only 500 people, that is 500 people who are human and care, and get concerned. It is community because they are people you choose, you end up caring about them, you become a part of their life.”
After that long night contemplating suicide, Mr. Starr said he began going to counseling. He also decided to move to San Francisco, where many of his Twitter friends live. “I won’t just be connecting with people on Twitter, but in real life. I don’t have a ton of people who I can talk to here,” he said, referring to his life in Florida. “That’s probably why I went online.”
As he drove across the country late last month, he kept Twittering. Arriving in San Francisco late Saturday night he sent out another message to the world: “Do I have to pay the parking meter this late at night?”
|10.30.07: possible jumper|
10.30.07, Hillsborough Sheriff, SUICIDE ATT-INPR 1 SKYWAY BG 1656 1707 0h11m
any more info is welcome.
|10.08.07: jumper, 9:22pm, female, died, body found next day
Loreli Bongiovanni, 58
10.08.07, Hillsborough Sheriff, SUICIDE ATT-INPR 1 SKYWAY BG 2122 0121 3h59m
any more info is welcome.
05.02.08, msnbc.msn.com, (excerpt from a story posted 05.02.08.)
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Working suicide patrol on the towering Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Leif Cardwell rolled up to find the 58-year-old woman with one leg already draped over the short concrete barrier wall. The license plate on the Ford minivan she drove there said: “HPPY NOW.”
Cardwell kept his distance, imploring her to talk to him about her problems and not go through with it. He had thwarted a bridge suicide attempt two months before.
“It’s too late,” she kept saying. She threw down her driver’s license and cell phone and swung her other leg over.
Then she was gone, just like that.
Seconds later came a loud crash when she hit the water. “It was a very windy day, it was noisy, but it was clearly audible...,” recalls the 38-year-old trooper. “It is a violent way to go.”
tbo.com, FHP saw her jumping over railing. Body found next day.
09.28.07: jumper, 9:00am, female, hit water, lives, found same day
Dorothe Kadane, 85
thank you, jumpnews reporters:
09.28.07, Gill, St. Pete. FL., (09.28.07, 9:00 am, female, U.S. Coast Guard announced a report over the VHF marine radio of a 90 year old woman in the water west of the Skyway Bridge around 9am this morning. There's also alot of chatter between Coast Guard and St. Pete Fire Dept. Marine Rescue.
09.28.07, ALC, Tampa, FL., (09.28.07, 9:44 am) Someone just jumped off the bridge a few minutes ago! My messages aren't posting. The jumper jumped at 9:44am off the Skyway.
09.28.07, Paul S., Sarasota, FL., (09.28.07, 9:15 am, died), This is the second jumper of today about 2 hours apart. Both WWBA radio and the HCSO have reported the second jumper. Busy day. Is the moon still full?
09.28.07, John, Clearwater, (09.28.07, 08:30 am, female, no phones, hit water, died), According to TBO.com. We had 2 jumpers today. One female around 730 am. The other male around 830 am. This seasons first double header.
09.28.07, Dirk Diggler, Dunedin, (09.28.07, 8:00 am, female, no phones, hit water, died), This has got to be a first........80 years old and LIVES!!!
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say two women jumped from the towering Sunshine Skyway bridge in St. Petersburg during morning rush hour. One of them survived the fall.
Authorities say a woman in her 40s parked her car at the center span, left a suicide note and jumped from the bridge at around 7:20 a.m. She hit the rocks below and didn't survive.
About an hour and a half later, a woman in her 80s parked her car at the south end, left a note and jumped off. She was still alive when the Coast Guard found her in the water. tampabays10.com
09.28.07, unknown, gulfport, (09.28.07, female), St. Pete times says a woman in her 40's hit rocks and died and a woman in her 80's--who jumped an hour or so later--hit water and lived.
09.28.07, Paul S., Sarasota, FL., (09.28.07, 9:00 am, female, no phones, lived), The earlier report I gave you regarding the second jumper off the Skyway today may not have jumped. I find it hard that an 85 y/o woman would survive the splat on the water, and even though she was trying to off herself using the Skyway, it looks like she was near the fishing pier, not the actual Skyway roadway.
09.28.07, Bill E., Riverview Fl., (09.28.07, lived) ST. Pete Times reports 2 seperate jumpers at different times today. 1 lived, 1 died. 85 year old woman survives Skyway jump, Friday, September 28, 2007
09.28.07, unknown, 2 in one day. Yes it happened 2 day and rumor on the street is there will be another follower. (rumors are funny that way. we're sure this rumor is based on conjecture and has no basis on reality.)
09.28.07, Donna, Pinellas park, FL., Today, 9/28, 2 people jumped, 1 survived and 1 didn't and the article on TBO.com refers to previous jumps and doesn't even mention the jumper from 8/9, but I know it happened as my husband saw her jump. (we believe many jumps are not reported. it confounds us how some get wild press, like this double header, while others are quietly passed over like it never happened. we can only surmise that some people are press worthy, while others are not. obviously, the press discriminates. therefore, they are haters.)
09.28.07, Wildman, Riverview, FL., (09.28.07, 7:44 am, female, no phones, died), According to bradenton.com, there were two women who jumped so far today. 2 women jumped from Skyway - MAURA POSSLEY, HILLSBOROUGH-- Two women jumped off the Sunshine Skyway Bridge within an hour and a half of each other this morning, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said. The first woman, whose age was not immediately available, jumped at 7:22 a.m. Her body has yet to be recovered. The second woman, an 85-year-old, jumped at 8:48 a.m, and the sheriff's office was unsure whether the woman died or was still alive. The office said it had not made any connection between the two incidents as of 10:45 a.m.
09.28.07, curlydogmaster, Sarasota, FL., (09.28.07, 9:20 am, hit water), Looks like a second jumper this morning. After the observing the first response, in the 7:00 hour, when I was northbound. I was heading back southbound around 9:20 and saw police and fire boats coming out of Gulfgate. There was a fire/rescue unit on the end of the north fishing pier and more units, a fire/rescue boat, and a chopper in the air on the down hill side of the south bound lane. Not likely they were just arriving for the 7:20 jumper. He hit the rocks anyway so his recovery should have been over with. I would assume it was a second jumper. Anyone else have news?
09.28.07, Jane Doe, Largo, FL., (09.28.07, 9:00 am, female, hit water, lived), I heard on 820am that a second jumper, an 85 yr old woman, jumped this morning, treaded water for a couple hours and was hospitalized but alive.
09.28.07, Karen, From St Pete Times: Two jump from Sunshine Skyway this morning
Update: Officials confirmed that two people jumped from the Sunshine Skyway Bridge this morning, with diverging results. One of them, Maggie Dennis, 44, of Tampa, jumped from the center span of the bridge - 197 feet, 4 inches at its peak - and was killed, said Hillsborough County Sheriff's spokesman Debbie Carter said.
Investigators say Dennis jumped sometime after 7:22 a.m. She had parked her car on the bridge's center span, left a note inside the car, then jumped over a rail and plummeted into the rocks below.
Relatives were in the process of filing a missing person's report, Carter said.
The other woman, Dorothe Kadane, 85, of St. Petersburg, jumped 25 to 30 feet into the water from the bridge's southwest side, Carter said. She survived.
It is unclear what provoked Kadane into her attempt. Investigators also found a note in Kadane's car.
She was found by U.S. Coast Guard rescuers floating about 3 miles from Anna Maria Island around 9:30 a.m. Authorities believe she had been in the water for two hours, putting Dennis and Kadane's jumps at roughly the same time.
U.S. Coast Guard rescuers took Kadane to Galati Yacht Sales on Anna Maria Island, and was later taken to Bradenton's Blake Medical Center for a physical evaluation. Officials say she was "not injured in any way."
Manatee County Sheriff's Office spokesman Dave Bristow said Kadane will be taken into custody by their deputies under the Baker Act, a Florida law empowering police officers to take those they believe to be in need of a mental evaluation to hospitals for fear of harm to themselves or others.
Including today's jumps, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said there have been 46 suicide attempts since 2002. Three people have survived. -- Casey Cora, Times staff writer, Posted by Times staff at 10:42:06 AM on September 28, 2007
any more info is welcome.
|09.28.07, Hillsborough Sheriff, SUICIDE ATT-INPR 1 SKYWAY BG 0848 1259|
|09.28.07, 970 WFLA, Two women jumped off the Sunshine Skyway Bridge this morning. A woman in her 40's died after hitting the rocks below the center span. The story had a different ending for an 85 year old woman who jumped about an hour and a half later. She survived the fall and spent two hours in the water before she was picked up by the Coast Guard. She was taken to Bradenton-Memorial Hospital. A spokesperson for the Hillsborough Sheriff's Office says the woman is the oldest person anyone can remember jumping off the bridge, let alone surviving the fall. So far, investigators have not turned up any connection between the two jumpers.
09.28.07, fox 4, Two jump from St. Petersburg bridge; only one survives
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Authorities say two women jumped from the towering Sunshine Skyway bridge in St. Petersburg during morning rush hour. One of them survived the fall. Authorities say a woman in her 40s parked her car at the center span, left a suicide note and jumped from the bridge at around 7:20a.m. She hit the rocks below and didn't survive. About an hour and a half later, a woman in her 80s parked her car at the south end, left a note and jumped off. She was still alive when the Coast Guard found her in the water.
09.28.07, The Miami Herald, Two jump from St. Petersburg bridge; only one survives, Posted on Fri, Sep. 28, 2007, The Associated Press
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Authorities say two women jumped from the towering Sunshine Skyway bridge in St. Petersburg during morning rush hour. One of them survived the fall.
Authorities say a 44-year-old woman parked her Toyota at the center span, left a suicide note and jumped from the bridge at around 7:20 a.m. She hit the rocks below and didn't survive.
When detectives arrived to investigate, they found another abandoned car at the south end of the bridge with a suicide note inside. The Coast Guard soon found the 85-year-old jumper alive and pulled her from the water uninjured.
09.28.07, bradenton.com, Woman didn't jump from bridge
HERALD STAFF REPORT
MANATEE-- The Manatee Sheriff's Office has confirmed a woman who survived a reported jump off the Sunshine Skyway Bridge did not jump.
The woman, of St. Petersburg, told deputies she intended to jump from a pier that juts out near the bridge, but there was too many people nearby, said sheriff's spokesman Dave Bristow.
She told authorities instead of jumping, she walked into the water near the pier to possibly drown herself.
The woman would be taken into custody under the Baker Act, Bristow said. She is 85 years old, according to the Hillsborough Sheriff's Office.
Before being taken into custody, the woman was being treated as a precaution at Blake Medical Center in Bradenton, according to the county emergency communications center.
The woman was rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard sometime around 10 a.m.
She was taken to Galati Yacht Sales on Anna Maria Island, 900 Bay Blvd. S., said dockmaster Dan Brito.
"She was conscious," said dockmaster Dan Brito. "I heard her talk."
The Coast Guard had called Brito and asked him to call 911 to confirm that an ambulance was en route.
He said she was brought there by boat around 11 a.m., but the woman and officers had to wait a few minutes until the ambulance arrived.
"I did 8 years in the Coast Guard myself, so I know to just stay out of the way," Brito said.
09.28.07, St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg Woman kills herself; another tries suicide, By CASEY CORA, Times Staff Writer, Published September 29, 2007
One woman killed herself and another attempted suicide in separate incidents around the Sunshine Skyway bridge Friday morning, officials say.
Investigators were still trying to sort out late Friday how the surviving woman, Dorothe Kadane, 85, of St. Petersburg, ended up in the water. She may have jumped 25 to 30 feet from the bridge's southwest side, or she may have walked into the water, hoping to drown.
Investigators found a note in Kadane's car but did not reveal its contents. She was found floating about 3 miles from Anna Maria Island by U.S. Coast Guard rescuers around 9:30 a.m.
Authorities think she had been in the water for two hours, putting her attempt about the same time as the other woman's suicide on Friday morning.
U.S. Coast Guard rescuers took Kadane to Galati Yacht Sales on Anna Maria Island. She was taken later to Bradenton's Blake Medical Center. Officials say she was "not injured in any way."
Manatee County sheriff's spokesman Dave Bristow said Kadane will be taken into custody under the Baker Act, which empowers police to take people for a psychiatric evaluation if they believe they might harm themselves or others.
The other woman, Maggie Dennis, 44, of Tampa, jumped from the center span of the bridge - 197 feet, 4 inches at its peak - and was killed, said Hillsborough sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter.
Investigators say Dennis jumped sometime after 7:22 a.m. She had parked her car on the bridge's center span, left a note inside, then jumped over a rail and plummeted onto the rocks below.
Relatives were in the process of filing a missing person report, Carter said.
Before Friday, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said, there have been 44 suicide attempts at the bridge since 2002. Three people have survived.
If you need help
Anyone experiencing a crisis or suicidal feelings can call one of these numbers:
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-784-2433 (1-800-SUICIDE)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK)
09.28.07, brandenton.com, Second woman found off Anna Maria Island trying to drown self, By MAURA POSSLEY
MANATEE --Two women drove to the Sunshine Skyway Bridge on Friday morning to end their lives. One survived and the other did not.
A 44-year-old woman first pulled her Toyota onto the bridge at its peak, or center span, about 7:20 a.m. and leapt off its edge, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said.
The body of Maggie Dennis, of Tampa, was later recovered, according to authorities. Details of a note Dennis left in the Toyota were not released.
An hour and a half later, at 8:48 a.m., authorities at the bridge, responding to the earlier suicide, noticed a 1998 Chevrolet parked at the bridge's south end.
Deputies searched the vehicle and found a note, the details of which were not released.
An 85-year-old woman was rescued by U.S. Coast Guard officials at about 9:30 a.m., three miles off Anna Maria Island. She had been in the water for two hours, the sheriff's office said in a release.
Coast Guard officials took the woman to Galati Yacht Sales on Anna Maria Island, 900 Bay Blvd. S., said dockmaster Dan Brito.
She was hospitalized at Blake Medical Center in Bradenton briefly, before being taken into custody under the state's Baker Act, said Manatee County Sheriff's Office spokesman Dave Bristow.
The woman, of St. Petersburg, told deputies she intended to jump, Bristow said, but there were too many people nearby. Instead, she walked into the water to drown herself.
"At first, she said she kind of jumped in, not very far, but then she kind of clarified that, saying no, she just walked in," Bristow said.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office believes the woman jumped from a lower portion of the bridge.
Brito said the woman was brought to Galati about 11 a.m.
"She was conscious," said Brito. "I heard her talk. I did eight years in the Coast Guard myself, so I know to just stay out of the way."
09.28.07, tbo.com, Skyway Jump Survivor Leapt From Low End, A TBO staff report, Published: September 28, 2007
TAMPA - One of two people who jumped off the Sunshine Skyway bridge this morning survived, said Debbie Carter, a Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman.
The woman who survived, Dorothe Kadane, 85, of 31st Street, St. Petersburg, jumped off the south end of the bridge, about 25 to 35 feet above the water, about 7 a.m., Carter said. She was found about two hours later floating about three miles from Anna Maria Island. She had not been injured.
Maggie Dennis, 44, of Luzon Avenue, Tampa, jumped over the rail at 7:22 and hit the rocks below, Carter said.
Both women left notes inside their cars.
Carter said a detective responded to the report involving Dennis jumping from the bridge. While working on that case, the investigator found Kadane's car with a note inside.
Debra Harris, director of the 211 Tampa Bay division of the Crisis Center, said it's rare for someone to survive a jump off the bridge. She was not surprised Kadane survived jumping into the water from the lower portion.
"Hopefully she gets some help to deal with what's unbearable," Harris said. "Something is unbearable, and that's what people want to stop. They don't necessarily want to end their lives. It's just something is unbearable and intolerable, and they want it to stop."
Before today, six people died jumping off the bridge this year, according to information kept by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, which is responsible for the center span.
Records going back to 2003 show only two other survivors, one May 1, 2005, and the other June 2, 2003. No information was available about those people.
The last person to jump did it on May 23, Carter said.
Since, 2003, there have been 33 fatal jumps from the bridge, Carter said.
Harris' organization operates crisis lines that can be reached through phones installed on the bridge. Most people who use the phones are stranded motorists.
Harris said the crisis center has a 100-percent track record of getting intervention for suicidal people who use the phones.
She didn't have current statistics, but as of about two years ago, there had been about 100 calls from suicidal people using the phones.
"As far as those who complete suicide, males are usually the ones that will complete suicide more than female," Harris said. "Females do more attempts; males use more lethal means. … The elderly, usually when they attempt, they complete suicide. They're usually dealing with long-term, chronic, painful illnesses or the loss of a loved one or a caretaker. She's not the first elderly person to use the Skyway as a means to end her life."
Anyone thinking about suicide can call 211 any hour of the day or night to be put in touch with a counselor.
Information about suicide is available at crisiscenter.com or suicidology.org.
from tampaforums.com: 2 Skyway jumpers - one survives.
Si-Ninja-Punk, what a shitty way to go out, hitting the rocks.
shoot, This week has been insane with all these depressing news headlines. I feel for the family, friends and loved ones left behind of the selfish person who took their own life successfully. Suicide is the most selfish thing anyone could do. I don't care how bad they think their life is. There's plenty of free help out there for those who need it.
MtuRbo2, That's a long ass fall to the water. I seriously wonder what is going through people's heads when they jump. That's gotta be the worst way to die right after dying by fire. And to jump and try and kill yourself and LIVE has to be even worse, that's gotta hurt like no other. she would not have swam if she really wanted to die. she probably had a change of heart somewhere along the line.
Epicman, How the f**k does an 80 year old survive that shit? I saw a woman jump off once. Kinda creepy to actually see somebody going over.
RichWarChild, Depends... If the person is suffering from some life threating illness or terminal disease, isn't it more selfish for the friend and family to want the person to live longer?
Hell my grandfathers in a nursing home and suffering like crazy in there. He has dementia, cries when ever he sees someone, doesn't remember if he had breakfast and thinks he retired yesterday when it was really 25 years ago. This is a guy who would wake up every morning at 6am to help at the family farm. He's totally miserable. I want him to pass away just so his suffering ends.
Kelleb, Isn't that insane? I find it nuts that an 80 year old lady jumped anyhow... sad, really.
MianoSM I'd go out deep into the woods over days and then take a bullet over a jump. Too much work for those that you leave behind by making your choice public, and a burden at that.
Banksy, I watched a compelling documentary about the Golden Gate bridge suicide jumpers. (the bridge)
Jennilicious, I laughed at the irony as well. Damn... 80 years old and survived that shit.
Boston, If you're 80 and you're trying to kill yourself there is most likely a damn good reason for it.
Hey it's Aaron, The elderly are have the highest increase in Suicide stats this year. The Elderly are also the most likely to inflict mortal harm. When an old person decides to kill themself, they go through with it.
Boston, If you kill yourself for no reason or for stupid reasons, then yes you're pathetic. But if you kill yourself because you've lived 80 years and you're in agonizing pain everyday, then in my opinion its acceptable.
MtuRbo2, you have to understand an 80 year old lives a very lonely life. there arent to many people around that understand where you came from anymore, can relate to your past experiences, and there is pretty much nothing to look foward to...besides dying. im planning on going out with a bang if i ever get that age. i dont think i would be able to sit around, not look foward to anything, and basically wait to die.
MianoSM, I think it all depends on the person, I know of some 89 year old guys that are still active in their communities. They are computer guys to boot, so you know they aren't big tail chasers or anything like that.
Nikker, I think what she is trying to say is that to commit suicide b/c of some sort of depression i.e. bad break ups and what not, that's selfish. That's why she said there was plenty of free help out there. But I agree with you. I think euthanasia is completely ethical. I wouldn't want my family to suffer nor spending the money on me when I can't do anything for myself. I know this is more than likely going to be a touchy subject so I will say it is just my honest opinion.
Goop, "what a shitty way to go out, hitting the rocks." Or the best way? I have heard of quite a few of the jumpers who hit the water which should be just as hard as concrete at that height, but lived so I'd rather hit the rocks and make sure I was going out.
Cal, Theres nothing selfish about suicide, dont be so close minded. Personally, I dont think I ever would/could do it despite depression. I love my family wayyyy too much to ever put them through that.
Goop, The selfish part comes in where your family loves you wayyyy too much and cant believe you had to kill yourself instead of go out years later when you should.
MovingViolation, Jumping is a bad way to commit suicide. If you aren't high enough it won't be instant. I read before about how a highrise was on fire and people were jumping to escape the flames from the 9th floor and some of them lived long enough to explain why they did it... Therefore, 90ft isn't a sufficent height. People have also survived skydiving and not having their parachute open but its rare.
BERT-O, Saw this morning of the minivan and a statetrooper on the side of the minivan. Not surprise since I drive over the skyway everday and see a abanduned (sp? shutup!) car once a month! I'm surprise this made it to the media since they not to post this on the paper! It causes more problem for others to want to do it! About 2 months ago, on a Friday, a bangup Geo Metro pulled over on top of the Skyway, he/she must have jump minutes ago as the car was in the middle of the road w/ the driver side door open. People just kept on driving! Sad but an old ex-GF's little brother that the route as well.
Banksy, Go watch "The Bridge." ...now!
from topix.com: 2 jump from St. Petersburg bridge; only 1 survives
Mary, Oh my God, it wasn't her time to die the lady in her 80's
B-F Ross, She must have gotten the FDA requirement for calcium or something--- people in their 80's routinely fall 3 feet and break hips and die. This must be a tough lady to survive the Skyway.
Tampa Joe, My question is why......don’t they know they will go to He!! if they do that. make no sense. ive been on the SS a lot and that’s one high fall. one would probably die from the shock of the height. Wonder if they were related>?
KEV, Dr. Kevorkian is out of jail now since the Sky Way didn't work.
President Ahmadinejad, Crazy coincidence huh? 2 for 1...... Gotta love it! Now their families are gonna sue the state..Just wait!
rob bender, let the second woman try again!!!
ceaton64, WTF??? one of the bizarrest news clips I've read in a while. I will be interested to see more details of this tragic event.
Windermere Reader, It's a full moon.
far away, I just want to know why so many more people are obsessed with suicide? it's just not right...
rrlarry, Kinda shows you how somtimes life experence falls short, the rookie made it the old one didnt.
John, Is this bridge a famous spot for suicides? lol
Chris, They have an anti-suicide phone at the apex.
Chick, Yep the Sky Way is a hotspot for suicides. The only question anyone ever has is, did they float to Hillsborough County or Pinellas? It's mean to be that crude but its true, no one in those 2 counties blinks when they hear of another Sky Way jumper.
kelley c, "If your friends jump off a bridge, are you going to do the same thing?" In this case apparently "yes".
newscalculus, did they know each other? jumpin off a bridge is too 'hit and miss' theres gotta be a better way to do it
FED UP, Go rent "The Bridge" and see just how popular bridge jumping is for suicide and how successful it is. Yes, it shows real suicides jumping from a bridge - can you tough guys stomach that?
To catch a blogger, New cable TV show will reveal the identity of you sickos and your postings soon. (we will watch for this 'must see tv'.)
Bob Skilnik, Eyewitness said you could hear them hollering "So far, so good!" until the big splash.
Hillary, Maybe they should put up a sign warning people that it is not safe to jump from that bridge? (really? you think there are people walking amongst us, that can't finger that out without a sign? some sign ideas: "wait at least 30 minutes after a meal before jumping off the bridge, as you may get cramps." "do not feed the sea animals with your lifeless bloated corpse." "no jumping allowed or aloud." "this lane is for loading and unloading of jumpers only. driver must stay with vehicle at all times." "no floatation devices permitted." "no lifeguard on duty.")
Trouble maker, They should designate suicide areas!
Primate Rapper, One chick was polish and she completely missed the water.
day, why would they want to kill themselves now. they got that far all ready why not go on
09.28.07: jumper, 7:22am, female, hit rocks, died, body found same day
Maggie Dennis, 44
09.28.07, wwba820am.com, breaking news: jumper off the skyway, takes it on the rocks.
09.28.07, Steve, St. Petersburg, (09.28.07, 7:30am), Driving to work in Bradenton this am, I saw a lot of acitivity in the southbound lane, just south of the hump. A small gray car with the drivers side door open. Two FHP in the northbound lane, and a county in the southbound lane.
more news and commentary from this day's 2 jumps are above.
any more info is welcome.
|08.09.07, Hillsborough Sheriff, SUICIDE ATT-INPR 1 SKYWAY BG 0721 1105|
|tbo.com, Parked car, jumped from center span. Body found on rocks.|
09.30.07, found on a blog, 30 September ...On a sad note, I just heard from a friend in Tampa that an acquaintance of ours there just jumped off the Skyway bridge & committed suicide on Friday. That certainly has made our hearts heavy. We had seen & spoken to Maggie when we were in Tampa in January. She was only a few years married & had an adorable little girl. She was a beautiful person with these huge eyes. I can’t even imagine what was going through her head, but it’s so very sad to hear of her passing.
05.31.20, Noelle D., I am the daughter of Maggie Dennis. My mom jumped off the skyway bridge september 27, 2007. She landed on the rocks. The note was also very short. I was four at the time. I don't know what was going on in her mind. Everyone thought she was so happy. Everyone loved her. It is believed she had severe depression. I just want this posted because I'm looking at comments and people are calling her stupid and selfish. Yes it was selfish of her. But as her kid it hurts seeing this posted about her. Im offended they are calling her stupid and that she's in hell when they didn't even know the amazing person she was. (people can be harsh. sorry you lost her in such a manner, but it is pretty selfish to bail on a 4 year old daughter like that.)
|08.09.07: jumper, 5:00pm, female, died
Helen Miller, 49
|thank you, jumpnews reporters:
08.09.07, Bill E., Riverview, (08.09.07, 4:30pm), Been hearing about police activity on the 'hump' southbound, with water rescue. Possible jumper? Source WFLA 970. WFLA traffic states slow traffic southbound Skyway due to rescue and recovery work in progress.
08.09.07, Karen, Parrish, FL., (08.09.07, 5:00pm), Driving home today, southbound Skyway was backed up all the way to the toll plaza. When I reached the apex, a Geo Tracker was pulled over, driver's door open. Detectives and Deputies were looking over the edge. A low flying helicopter was circling the area, and I saw what appeared to be a Coast Guard boat as well.
08.09.07, bill, englewood, fl., (08.09.07, 5:15pm, female, hit water), I was taking my kids to the airport tonight. It was rush hour. A woman ran across the northbound traffic from the center of the bridge. She ran to the barrier and put one leg over the edge and then the other leg. She leaned over towards the water and disappeared. I called 911. A few minutes later we saw rescue vehicles headed south. I asked a toll taker on the way back. he only knew that a rescue of some type had taken place. (that had to be bizarre.)
08.10.07, Donna, Pinellas Park, FL., (08.09.07, 4:45pm, female), My husband was crossing the Skyway Bridge coming from Sarasota into St. Pete and he saw this woman leaning over the railing of the bridge. At first he thought it might be a worker since they are working on painting. Then he realized it wasn't. He looked around and saw a car. By this time he was on the down side of the bridge. He looked in his mirror and saw her put one leg over the bridge and then the other and that was the last he saw of her. He called 911 immediately. As he continued driving he saw the emergency vehicles heading for the bridge. Never heard anything on the news - don't know if she was found or not
08.10.07, c., clearwater, fl., (08.09.07, 5:30pm), Going across skyway southbound, traffic backed up to toll plaza. about halfway up hillsborough county sheriff comes flying by. At top of bridge silver geo tracker parked with flashers on in inside lane, no one in vehicle. Under cover police car directly across from it in northbound lanes and another one in front. Raining really hard so no helicopter or boat at that time. Rather large cargo ship going under bridge as I was approaching toll plaza heading into port of tampa. If there was a jumper and body got caught in undertow...wow
08.11.07, unknown, jumper name: Helen Miller
08.11.07, Bill E., Riverview, Fl., 08.09.07, 1702pm, suicide in progress HCSO.
08.27.07, unknown, St. Pete, FL., Update to 08/09 jump... on 08/10 I was driving to work at 8:30am and saw the police,emergency workers, and a boat circled around something on the shore of the northbound side of the skyway, near the fence. I am assuming this was the girl, or part of the remains as they were all looking down at the same spot.
any more info is welcome.
|08.09.07, Hillsborough Sheriff, SUICIDE ATT-INPR 1 SKYWAY BG 1702 2056|
|tbo.com, Stopped at top of center span, left car door open, ran across traffic lanes to barrier and jumped.|
|08.13.07, B & S, Holiday, FL., When you think of Helen
M.please don"tthink of a "Jumper". HWe do not know y Helen had to leave us so
soon. She was a wife,Mother,Daughter Sister,Grandma and a FriendLike a cancle
in the wind, the flame flickered and went out. She still had many miles to go
and promises to keep. For Helen and those who suffer and are left behind,we
ask for the peace that surpasses all understanding.Our deepest sympathy from
those who loved her at HLV's. (thank you for your kind
words about helen.)
08.15.07, unknown, As a family member, how do I find out information from the Hilsborough Sherriff dept. It has been 6 days and no news. Do you know how to get answers from them?? (we imagine we are the last ones they want to give information to. you may try going to your nearest sheriff's department in person and request this information. take proof of relationship. they have to tell you something, but may not do so over the phone. sorry for your loss and good luck in your quest.)
|08.01.07: possible jumper|
Hillsborough Sheriff, SUICIDE ATT-INPR 1 SKYWAY BG 2255 0007
any more info is welcome.
|07.04.07: jumper wuss, 3:23am, male, no hotline phones, hit water, lives
Mark Leandres, 25
07.04.07, DixieChick, Palmetto, FL., (07.04.07, 3:00am, male, no hotline phones, lived), From BayNews9.com: A man is recovering after an overnight auto accident on the south end of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.
The accident occurred at about 3 a.m. just south of the hump in the bridge. A person apparently jumped and ended up on the pilings underneath the bridge and had to be rescued by boat.
Officials said the person who jumped off the bridge was one of the drivers involved.
At least a dozen emergency vehicles, Florida Highway Patrol and the Coast Guard were called to the scene.
There's no word on the extent of the person's injuries.
The driver of the other vehicle stayed on the bridge and was not injured. Possible charges are pending upon the outcome of the investigation.
07.05.07, Tim, myspace, Hey you havent updated, there was a crash this week and someone jumped, they lived though (thanks, tim, but we thought we'd sleep in this week, sorry for the delay.) we asked tim if he knew any more and he replied:
07.06.07, Tim, myspace, Just what I read that there was a crash on the bridge and one of the drivers jumped off the side. who knows, im thinking drunk. I dont think he went off the center span but here is the copy of the TBO.com article:
Driver Flees After Sunshine Skyway Crash, Posted Jul 4, 2007 by Beth Gaddis, Updated Jul 4, 2007 at 07:31 AM, From News Channel 8
MANATEE COUNTY – The Sunshine Skyway is open and traffic is flowing freely despite an earlier car crash.
One car hit a retaining wall on the south end of the Skyway around 3:30 a.m., according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Troopers said the driver of the car ran from the crash scene and jumped off the bridge.
Somebody threw him a life preserver and the driver swam to a piling where he waited to be rescued.
Paramedics air lifted the driver to a hospital.
There’s no word on his name or condition, or why he jumped.
Hope this helps, Tim (thanks again, tim.)
07.06.07, SuziQ, myspace, 07.04.07, One-car crash on Sunshine Skyway Bridge.
A driver crashed his car into both barricades on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge this morning and was taken to Bayfront Hospital for treatment. There was no damage to the bridge or disruption to traffic flow.
Mark Leandres, 25, of Bradenton, was headed southbound on the bridge at 3:36 a.m. and had crested the hump when he lost control of his car and hit the concrete retaining wall on the left side of the bridge, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The car then spun clockwise and crossed both lanes of traffic before striking the opposite concrete wall and bouncing back into the travel lanes. The car came to a stop in the inside southbound lane.
No information is available about Leandres' condition and no charges have been filed.
|05.23.07: jumper, 11:23am, male, no
crisi phones, hit water, died, body found same day
Christopher Bruffee Sirois, 23
05.23.07, Itchy605, Seminole, FL., (05.23.07, 11:23am, died), I was on the bridge and saw a lady crying uncontrollably, looking over the side. Her car was blocking the outside southbound lane. I went on the Highway Patrol site and saw the suicide listed. I am unsure if it was her or if she herself witnessed it. There were only 3 cars stopped when I got there, so the time should be near to the reported time. (we suppose Itchy604 was already taken.)
05.23.07, Bill E., Riverview Fl., (05.23.07, 11:23am), WFLA 970AM reported this morning. Skyway southbound, traffic jam due to police activity on the bridge. FHP traffic site show 'Suicide" 11:23Am Skyway Bridge.
05.23.07, Janey, Bradenton, FL., (05.23.07, 11:30am), Was coming home from Tampa airport and traffic stopped near top of bridge. Tow truck, multiple cops and firetruck all zoomed up. Got to top and saw a single late model black corolla hooked up to tow truck, no damage to it at all. Cops were all looking over the side of the bridge. Fairly sure it was a jumper. God rest his/her soul.
05.24.07, a. nonymous, (05.23.07, male, no hotline phones, hit water, died), i pick up dead bodies for a living for hillborough county....the guy jumped from mid span which is hillsborough county. it was a 24 year old male, he was seen standing on the side of the bridge, waved adios to a lady witness and plunged. he was fished out with his pants ripped to around this ankles.....some nice head trauma, but otherwise intact
05.24.07, driver, largo, florida, (05.23.07, 11:30am, male, no hotline phones, hit water, died), They're repainting the skyway and my uncle was up there when the person jumped. He said it was a man. The crew saw it happen and the guy pulled over and ran very quickly to jump over the edge. There was no waiting, no drama, just a jump and it was over. I'm not sure about traffic being backed up, but I know they fished the body out shortly thereafter. This was an eye witness account to the event. He called me shocked. It was the first time he actually saw someone jump.
any more info is welcome.
Hillsborough Sheriff, SUICIDE ATT-INPR 1 SKYWAY BG 1123 1442
05.24.07, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office press release:
Release Number: 07-274 For Immediate Release Public Information Office May 24, 2007
Suicide, Wednesday, May 23, 2007 at 11:18 a.m., Skyway Bridge
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office received a call around 11:18 a.m., Wednesday, May 23, 2007 about someone who had jumped from the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.
The victim has been identified as Christopher Bruffee Sirois, dob:02/24/83, of [address withheld], Saint Petersburg, FL.
|04.29.07: jumper, 5:30pm, female, no
crisis phones, hit water, died, body found same day
Deborah Studer, 38
04.29.07, Bill E., Riverview, Fl., (04.29.07, 5:42pm), FHP website.....suicide Skyway Bridge 5:42PM. Local traffic sites list police activity on Skyway, but no roadblockage.
04.29.07, susan, sarasota, florida, (04.29.07, 5:20pm, died), I am posotve about this, was going northbound over the bridge at approximately 5:20 pm. All of a sudden southbound traffic comes to a standstill. I said to my husband, "somebody jumped". On way back from the airport I hit the traffic again. I pulled into the rest area, which was packed, everyone was on thier cell. One guy had a police radio, he said thaT THEY GOT THE BODY BUT HAD TO GO GET A BODY BAG, AND THAT IT WAS A WOMEN. aBOUT 10 MINUTES LATER TRAFFIC STARTED UP AGAIN AND AT THE TOP OF THE BRIDGE IN THE INSIDE LANE, WAS A GRAYISH SMALLER SUV. i DO NOT HAVE ANY OTHER DETAILS, EXCEPT THAT THIS IS FOR SURE!!
04.30.07, Leo, Tampa, FL., (04.29.07, 5:45pm, female, no hotline phones, hit water, died), Hillsborough County Sheriff's office case #07-253079.
04.30.07, Paul S., Sarasota, FL., (04.29.07, 5:30pm, female, hit water, died), From the Bradenton Herald, Woman was reported jumping from the southbound side of the Skyway at 5:30 PM on Sunday afternoon. Coast Guard fished out the body about an hour later
04.30.07, susan, sarasota, fl., (04.29.07, 5:20pm, female, hit water, died), WAS DRIVING NORTHBOUND, SAW THE TRAFFIC STOPPED ON SOUTHBOUND LANE, ON WAY BACK FROM THE AIRPORT, TRAFFIC INSOUTHBOUND AT A STOP. I STOPPED AT THE REST AREA WHICH WAS FULL OF PEOPLE WHO SAID A WOMAN DIED AND THEY WERE WAITING FOR A BODY BAG. ABOUT 10 MINS LATER TRAFFIC STARTED UP, AS I PASSED THE TOP, THERE WAS A GREY LATE MODEL SMALLER SUV TYPE CAR PARKED IN THE CENTER LANE. ANY MORE INFO...DEFINATELY A JUUMPER WHO DIED
04.30.07, cathy m., (04.29.07, female, died), i learned about this information through the U coast gaurd as we were boating near the terra verdia bridge in pinellas county florida. it was told to us that they had just done a search and recovery of a woman who jumped off the skyway that day. they had just recovered her body prior to pulling us over near the bridge.
any more info is welcome.
Hillsborough Sheriff, MENTALLY ILL PER 1 SKYWAY BG 1629 2012
04.29.07, Hillsborough Sheriff, DEAD PERSON 1 SKYWAY BG 1744 2055
bradenton.com, Highway Patrol reports drivers say a woman jumped from
Sunshine Skyway bridge
ST. PETERSBURG - The Florida Highway Patrol reports this afternoon that drivers on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge report a woman has jumped into Tampa Bay.
At about 5:30 p.m., drivers called emergency services to report the apparent suicide. The U.S. Coast Guard and Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office are assisting FHP troopers in investigating the incident.
Late afternoon traffic is slowed - especially on the southbound side of the huge span, the two lanes heading into Manatee County. The southbound, right lane at 6 p.m. was closed to traffic as emergency vehicles were parked there, the Florida Highway Patrol website said.
State troopers reported receiving the first call from a driver about the woman jumper at 5:32 p.m.
04.30.07, bradenton.com, Drivers report woman's apparent suicide jump, By ROBERT NAPPER
ST. PETERSBURG --The Florida Highway Patrol closed the southbound lanes of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge on Sunday after a woman jumped from the bridge.
FHP Lt. A. Pugh said the U.S. Coast Guard recovered the unidentified woman from Tampa Bay on Sunday evening.
Several drivers called 911 around 5:30 p.m., saying they saw a woman jump from a concrete wall along the bridge.
FHP troopers arrived at the scene almost immediately and closed the right southbound lane of the bridge.
Emergency personnel and the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office also responded to the scene. The Hillsborough Sheriff's Office has jurisdiction over the bay waters at the Skyway.
The U.S. Coast Guard searched Tampa Bay and found the woman at 6:24 p.m., about an hour after initial calls came into authorities. Pugh said the woman has been pronounced dead.
FHP listed the incident as a suicide, but details surrounding the incident and the woman's identity have not been released by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
HeraldTribune.com, Sunday Skyway suicide jumper identified, By
bradenton.com, Skyway jumper ID'd
|04.20.07: jumper, male, died
Michael Safko, 54
|thank you, unknown
04.21.07, unknown, (04.20.07, 11:30pm, male, no hotline phones, hit rocks, died)
any more info is welcome.
|04.20.07, Hillsborough Sheriff, SUICIDE ATT-INPR 1 SKYWAY BG 2341 0606|
|04.25.07, St. Petersburg Times, SKYWAY LEAPER IDENTIFIED: The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office has identified a man who died after jumping from the Sunshine Skyway Bridge about midnight Saturday. George Michael Safko, 54, of [address withheld], Trinity, leaped from the bridge in an apparent suicide, authorities said.|
|05.04.07, unknown, Land O Lakes, FL., George Michael Safko was 50 when he jumped on 4-20-07. He called all his loved ones to alert them of his intentions. He was knocked out on impact. Cause of death was drowning. Thank you for withholding his address. (we are truly sorry for your loss. we have never understood why the media feels the need to tell the whole damn world the address of a suicide or a murder victim. why? what purpose? anyone that is affected by the loss, already knows the address. only strangers and the nosey can use the address to perhaps cause further grief. that's right, st. pete times and the sheriff's department, you are causing further grief to the families of the deceased by releasing this useless home address information. knock it off. at least ask the families if they want that information released. odds are, they don't.)|
|04.12.07: possible jumper|
04.12.07, Hillsborough Sheriff, PERSON DOWN 1 SKYWAY BG 0839 1439
any more infois welcome.
|04.11.07: jumper, 9:15pm, male, no hotline phones, hit rocks, died, body found 2 days later
Frank Anthony Colangelo, 22
04.12.07, Paul S., Sarasota, FL., (04.10.07, 11:00pm, male, died), WWBA 820 radio news reported a Bradenton man drove to the top of the Skyway and ended it all last nite. My time listed is only a guess. They did not list the time...
04.12.07, Urban, Trinity, Fl., (04.11.07, 9:15pm, male, hit rocks, died), tampabay.com reported the Body of Skyway jumper found on rocks. The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is recovering a body this morning from beneath the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said a man jumped from the bridge about 9:15 p.m. Wednesday. "Apparently the person dove onto the rocks,'' she said. "He didn't make it into the water.'' The person's identity is not known (it hurts just reading the words, "dove onto the rocks".)
04.12.07, BILL E., RIVERVIEW, FL., (04.11.07, 9:15pm, male, hit rocks, died), WFLA RADIO REPORTED A MALE'S BODY WAS RECOVERED FROM THE ROCKS BELOW THE SKYWAY. HE APPARENTLY JUMPED LAST NIGHT. CONFIRMED ON HCSO SITE
04.12.07, unknown, (04.11.07, 9:00pm, male, hit water, died), Body was found Thursday.. AM Looking for coverage. Name: Frank Colangelo. resident of Bradenton, FL Body was in custidy of Hillsborough county. We heard a diver/rescuer was injured in line of duty.
any more info is welcome.
Hillsborough Sheriff, SUICIDE ATT-INPR 1 SKYWAY BG 2117 0621
04.12.07, Hillsborough Sheriff, UPDATE: VICTIM HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED AS FRANK ANTHONY COLANGELO, DOB: 05-03-84, BRADENTON, FL
Victim: male, What: Skyway Jumper, When: April 11, 2007 at 9:15 p.m., Where: Skyway Bridge
Why/How: On April 11, 2007 at approximately 9:15 p.m., Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office received information from Florida Highway Patrol reference a possible jumper from the Skyway Bridge. A vehicle (2000 Ford Mustang) was recovered on the bridge and impounded by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. Florida Wildlife Commission and Coast Guard responded to the area and discovered a body on the rocks under the bridge. Due to the inclement weather, authorities were unable to recover the body during the night.
On April 12, 2007, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Marine Unit responded to the Skyway Bridge to recover the body. The body will then be turned over to the Medical Examiner’s Office for positive identification.
The investigation continues.
St. Petersburg Times, Drivers
on the Sunshine Skyway bridge reported that someone may have jumped from the
northbound lanes Wednesday. Ten units - including agents from the Coast Guard,
Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and the Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission - began searching the water below the bridge just
after 9:40 p.m. Witnesses also told authorities that a vehicle was abandoned
on the bridge. Late Wednesday, officials had not found a body and could not
confirm that someone had jumped.
04.13.07, St. Petersburg Times, Deputies have recovered the body of a man who jumped Wednesday from the Sunshine Skyway bridge. The Hillsborough Sheriff's Office has not released the man's name, pending the notification of his family. Investigators searched for the body after they received reports that someone jumped. A 2000 Ford Mustang was found abandoned on the bridge, said sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter. The recovery of the body was tricky because investigators had to climb along sharp, slippery rocks, she said. One member of the dive team fell, hitting his head. He was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries.
|04.21.07, Kyle, Atlanta, GA., To say that this site acts as a memorial is ridiculous! It's just another sick mind that gets off on other peoples misery. You, whoever you are, have no idea why people take their own lives...but as for my cousin Frank, well he was very sick, and tortured by mental illness. This site is just another reminder of the sad world we live in. I'm not sure how you live with yourself?!?!? (who said this site acts as a memorial? it sure was not us. this site simply reports jumper activity off the skyway bridge. your cousin jumped off the skyway bridge. all we did was report his jump activity. we do offer you, the grieving cousin, the opportunity to perhaps leave a few loving words about your lost loved one as a memorial. apparently, you didn't have anything nice to say and simply wanted to vent your anger at us. while it's true we have no idea why people take their own lives, we wonder if your cousin would have jumped, had he taken a few moments to read any of this site. mental illness aside, people can be convinced to change their mind after reading what we offer here. we are sorry for your loss. please tell the rest of the family to avoid this site.)|
|02.28.07: possible jumpers|
02.28.07, Hillsborough Sheriff, SUICIDE ATT-INPR 1 SKYWAY BG 1619 1627 0h8m
02.28.07, Hillsborough Sheriff, ASSIST OTHER AGN 1SKYWAY BG 2119 0230 5h11m
any more info is welcome.
|02.22.07: jumper, 2:15pm, female, no
hotline phones, died, body found same day
Wendy Kay Waldron, 42
|thank you, jumpnews reporter:
02.22.07, Paul S., Sarasota, FL., (02.22.07, 2:30pm, female, died), Heard reported by Shayna Lance on 820 WWBA radio this afternoon. A 42 y/o woman jumped and her body has been recovered.
any more info is welcome.
|02.22.07, Hillsborough Sheriff, SUICIDE ATT-INPR 1 SKYWAY BG 1408 1615|
St. Petersburg Times, Tampa
woman dies after jumping from Skyway
By Times Staff writer, Published February 23, 2007
A 42-year-old Tampa woman died Thursday after she jumped from the Sunshine Skyway bridge, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said.
Sometime before 2:15 p.m., Wendy Kay Waldron pulled her 2001 Mitsubishi over along the inside shoulder of the northbound side of the bridge. She got out, ran to the east side of the bridge and jumped over.
St. Petersburg Fire Rescue recovered her body.
tbo.com, Stopped car on northbound side of bridge, got out, ran to edge of bridge and jumped.
02.23.07, unknown, tampa, fl., I used to work with this woman Wendy waldron she was loved so very much and didn't even know how very much we will all miss her. God be with you Wendy (sorry you lost your friend.)
02.24.07, unknown, Wendy was a our sister in law She was loved by all her family Wendy when she was well was fun very intelligent and a caring person She died from depression a disease that she could not overcome Wendy is finally at peace and with God People who take their own lives are very ill their brain is chemically imbalanced I know this because I am a nurse and worked with this disease Wendy we love you and tonight we went to the Skyway bridge and said our goodbye We put a wreath and a dozen roses into the water that took your life
02.25.07, A&N, NC., Wendy,all God ever asks us to do is just try,and you did. You tried so hard to fight your demons.Please be at peace. We will miss you and remember your good days. "H" we're thinking of you. The cruise still makes us smile :)
02.26.07, unknown, I think leaving a message about Wendy on this website is terrible but I know there are alot of people might be going to this website to look I just want everyone to know if at all you think of doing something this terrible please DON'T it leave's alot of people hurting there alot of people that is going to miss Wendy and all of these other names you see on this alwfull site. May god bless all!!!!!!!!! (seems this awful site is bringing people together to say a few nice things about wendy. remember, it was wendy that put her life's end on this terrible site. it was wendy that brought you here to read all this. it would be fine with us if she, as well as everyone else listed here, was never included on this site because they didn't jump.)
02.26.07, BIG DADDY, WENDY, WE ARE NUMB. WE CAN'T BELIEVE YOU ARE GONE. YOUR SMILE WILL BE MISSED. WE HOPE YOU FIND PEACE. LOVE BEN&DEBBIE
02.26.07, AJ., NC., To the parents of Wendy... if you should so happen to read this. Let it be known that she was LOVED! Let it be known that she also LOVED! Don't minimize the LOVE because you didn't "approve" of who she LOVED and who LOVED her! Be thankful that she still LOVED you!!
03.09.07, love mommy, new jersey, Will miss you very much and I love you very much !
03.11.07, Helene, Tampa, I am the wife of Wendy we were together for 11 wonderful years. I know you are not suffering any more. I know you wanted me with you but not right now its all in Gods hands. Your family and evil step mom took you away from me, and they won't tell me where you are! After you were gone they used that WE DIDN'T APPROVE OF IT (So they were fake all these years) LIARS!!! So the madness goes on. Don't worry I know you are here with us and I don't ever give up! Remember you told me I am the stronger one. I'll keep that rocking chair warm for you. All my Love ALWAYS! PATIENCE AND SAMMY MISS YOU !!
To any potential jumpers don't do such a selfish and cruel way out of life ups and downs. Please think of the love ones behind. The pain is unbearable!!!! For those who suffer from depression MY REMEDY Adopt a dog or cat they can give you that unconditional love. And make you smile
To all the kindness of MY FAMILY, friends and co-workers and strangers Thank You and God Bless
Any help is appreciated on finding Wendy's resting place please email me [email address withheld] contact helene here. (we are sorry for your loss and hope you find closure and then happiness once again very soon.)
05.30.07, Lovelyone, Seffner, Fl, USA, Hello, I just wanted to say that Wendy Kay Waldron was a GREAT person and a wonderful friend and she has been greatly missed. I wished it was easier to find a memorial page that a website like this when you are just looking for a newspaper clipping. Wendy had great friends and was very happy for a very long time. I am so very blessed for the time that she spent with me and my family. The times we sat and talked will always be cherished in my heart and even though she has left this cruel world she will never leave are warm and aching hearts. You are thought of often and I am trying to keep my eye on both of yours girls. Helene and Lynsey are strong like me but it does not matter how strong you are when something like this happens you realize how week and vulnerable we sometimes get. I wish that I could have been there for you when you needed "ALL OF US THE MOST" YOU ARE GONE BUT I SWEAR TO YOU THAT YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN AND YOUR NAME ON THE WALL WILL NEVER DISAPPEAR.
THANKS FOR ALL THE SMILES THAT PUT ON MY FACE, LOVE AND MISS YOU SO VERY MUCH. UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN, THE LOVELYONE (sorry you lost your friend and that this site is all you have to post your words. we don't want people to step off the bridge, but they still do it.)
06.01.07, SHARON, SEFFNER, FL. US., THIS IS SUCH A TERRIBLE THING TO HAPPEN, WENDY WAS SUCH A FUN FULL OF LIFE PERSON, MY DEAREST FRIEND HELENE, MUST BE IN MUCH PAIN, TO MOVE ON AFTER LOOSING SOME ONE SO DEAR TO YOUR HEART, IS NOT EASY, I WISH I COULD TAKE SOME OF THE PAIN AWAY (sorry you lost your friend. time and time again, people complain that we post jumper reports on this site. time and time again, we get input such as this showing what suicide does to those left behind. maybe if people saw this, they wouldn't jump.)
10.16.07, lynsey, tampa, fl., Wendy was a very loving and energetic person. She always seemed happy. When she fisrt took her life i didn't believe it. When i finally excepted that she had i was mad and upset because she didn't think about all the people that truly loved her. She was a wonderful person. I looked up to her and loved her as a 2nd mom. And always considered myself her daughter, even when we all would go out everybody thought she was my real mom. Unfortunatly her family didn't except that my mom was her wife and i was her daughter, but our true friends and family excepted Wendy into their lives with open arms. I miss you Wendy with all my heart and soul and pray to God everyday that your happy now. I love you very much and wish you were here with us. I wish you could be here to see what i've accomplished so you could be proud of me and know that if it wasn't for you I wouldn't be where i am right now. Thank you to all our family and friends for your support if it wasn't for you we wouldn't be as strong as we are now. Me and my mom are doing really well we live in a nice house in tpa with my boyfriend and his kids. Thank you for all your prayers and support. To wendys family... wendy was our family and she was loved just as much as you loved her(you have no idea on how much she was loved.) We even love you as a family! We would like to now where Wendy rest. I don't want to go to the skyway every time i want to remember her and pay my respects. Its a horrible place to go knowing that she took her life there. so PLEASE ANYONE KNOWING WHERE WENDY RESTS LET US KNOW. we love her and want to go see her. you don't have to contact my mom you can contact me at [email address withheld]. contact lynsey here. please i beg you this isn't what Wendy would want and if you loved her you would respect HER decision. This isn't about anybody else, but Wendy! So please accept who she was and that we are her family. LOVE YOU WENDY MISS YOU, WE ALL DO! (sorry you lost your second mom. we hope someone comes through with the information you seek.)
12.02.07, BS, Plant City, Fl., I met Wendy & Helene at my best friend's on a few occasions. She was nice and lots of fun. My thoughts go out to her family she left behind. I too suffer from depression, as someone with it, it is easy to understand how Wendy felt. I deal with this disease every day and it is harder some days than others. People need to be there before they can understand, there is no medical cure. And even the toughtest break. Wendy you are greatly missed. And you will be thought of and loved always. Hang in there Helene.
01.26.07: jumper, 11:30pm, female, no phones, hit rocks, died, found same day
Suzanne Lynn Sandsmark, 50
01.29.07, Marc, Sarasota, Fl., (01.26.07, 11:00pm, female, no hotline phones, hit water, died), The Jumper stopped her car in front of us in the middle of the bridge and jumped out. She ran to the cement wall and sat down dangling her legs off the bridge. We tried to speak with her, she was on the phone with someone (cell). She asked us to back away...we did. She then turned and let herself drop out of sight. We called 911..they arrived about 15 minutes later...we gave our statement and have heard nothing since. We searched the water with a flashlight and saw nothing. I am still trying to learn more about this woman....however there is no news anywhere that I could find. (that must have been intensely surreal. now you see her, now you don't. apparently, she hit the rocks.)
02.03.07, Allison, Hey, I was gonna let you know about the jumper from a few days ago but you have all the info I do as she did not call us. Her body was taken to a local bone bank and her organs (eyes especially) were going to be donated but no one could find next of kin to consent, what a waste! keep up the good work. (thanks for the input.)
any more info is welcome.
Hillsborough Sheriff, DEAD PERSON 1 SKYWAY BG 2313 0255
01.26.07, Hillsborough Sheriff, Suzanne Sandsmark dies after jumping from Sunshine Skyway
Suzanne Lynn Sandsmark, 50 DOB 6-15-56, Clearwater, FL., January 26, 2007 at 11:30 p.m., Deputies responded to the Skyway Bridge in reference to a female jumper. Florida Highway Patrol observed the victim drive her 1999 Cadillac to the center span southbound lane and walk over to the side of the bridge and jump over.
St. Petersburg Fire Department marine unit responded and recovered body from the rocks.
01.30.07, St. Petersburg Times, Woman who leapt off Skyway named
Deputies identified a 50-year-old Clearwater woman who died Friday in a jump from the Sunshine Skyway bridge as Suzanne Lynn Sandsmark of [address withheld]. Her body was found on rocks near the bridge after she jumped at 11:30 p.m., Hillsborough officials said.
03.30.07, sl, how unfortunate that a former model (virginia slims) felt so
helpless that this was her only option. I was an aquaintance not a friend
but if there was more time perhaps we would have been. She was always
polite and friendly. She had a lot of "baggage". She was abused and unable
to conquer her demons. A Felon?? I don't think so. She does have family
locally. (what ad was she in?)
04.05.07, unknown, she was on all the billboards & in mags.
05.12.07, Mike B., Sarsaota, FL., Ms. Sandsmark was arrested only one day prior to her jumping and charged with a Felony. Because there was no trial, she has not been proven Guilty. No doubt, I suspect this may have contributed to her state of mind of ending her life. Unfortunately, Guilty or not, such an arrest can have a negative impact on ones life ( socially, carear, etc. )Before the case even ends up in court. I hope she found her peace.
|01.26.07: possible jumper|
01.26.07, Hillsborough Sheriff, SUICIDE ATT-INPR 1 SKYWAY BG 1810 1908
any more info is welcome.
|01.13.07: save, male|
thank you, jumpnews
01.20.07, Jane D., wimauma, fl., (01.13.07, ?pm, male, was stopped from jumping), The bluffer is from wimauma. hillsborough sheriffs office only listed [0279 01/13/07 MENTALLY ILL PER 0209 0409 07025129] not sure if you can get a copy of the report, but I heard the guy went missing, the family reported it because he had been talking crazy, and the next thing they knew, the police were calling saying they found him out of his car at the top of the skyway. He didn't jump. It was late night, not sure of time. Maybe you can find more info...
any more info is welcome.
►report jumper news
jumpers by name
audio • video
research for us
top of this page
►the skyway disaster