review Skyway AUTHOR Bill DeYoung ñ PDF eBook or Kindle ePUB

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review Skyway AUTHOR Bill DeYoung ñ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB ä “Bill DeYoung’s story of the construction of the original and second span of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge of the accident in 1980 that destroyed it and of John Lerro the harbor pilot steering the Summit Venture that struck the bridge is spellbinding and r“Bill DeYoung’s story of the construction of the original and second span of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. On Friday morning May 9th 1980 I was a student at Pine View School in Sarasota Florida School started at 815 and I think it was second period that I worked as a student aide in the school office One of the secretaries got a phone call and she went ashen When she hung up she came out and told us the news “A giant ship hit the Skyway and half of it collapsed Cars trucks even a bus fell down into the water”This news blew my mind Back then there were no iPhones or Androids so I couldn’t pull up the story There was no Internet Only word of mouth and the local news and we didn’t have a TV in the office Those of us who grew up here or who’d lived here any length of time were absolutely gobsmacked There was no way that bridge could have fallen I’d ridden across it dozens of times and it was this giant steel colossus nothing some stupid boat could have knocked downThe ship was named “Summit Venture” A sudden suall with winds up to 70 mph hit without warning and the harbor pilot—the man whose job it was to get these ships safely from the mouth of Tampa Bay to the Port of Tampa—was a man named John Lerro The radar was knocked out and visibility was zero When he realized he was off course he did everything he could to avoid the collision It wasn’t enough Summit Venture hit one of the main piers supporting the center span of the big bridge A big portion of the span fell 150 feet into the water Cars trucks and a full Greyhound Bus all plummeted into Tampa Bay One car stopped mere inches from falling its driver barely stopping in time The tragedy was unimaginable to me back then as it would be now The Sunshine Skyway was a symbol of our area a stalwart creation crossing wide beautiful Tampa Bay There were twin bridges 100 feet apart The western bridge was the one that was destroyed The story was morbidly fascinating as tragedies often are and local media chewed over every detail for weeks and months The bottom line is that 35 people fell 150 feet to a watery death—most died from the impact rather than drowning—and harbor pilot John Lerro’s life became a living hell from that point onBill DeYoung’s extraordinary book “Skyway” captures the details the news stories missed DeYoung takes us inside the harbor pilots’ fraternity explaining how Lerro was not especially popular among his peers Lerro was an outsider the first pilot hired by a new State Commission and several of his fellow pilots resented him DeYoung also uses court records newspaper accounts and personal interviews to reconstruct the seemingly innumerable hearings Lerro had to endure He gives us a history of the Sunshine Skyway and how much it meant to the area both symbolically and as a way to save incredible amounts of time crossing Tampa Bay going around it added at least another 50 miles to your journey As seems fitting he also remembers some of the victims describing their mornings before they met their fate and he follows the tragic tortured life of John Lerro whose own guilt was worse than any invective people sent his wayThirty six people lost their lives that day—35 in the accident and John Lerro who was exonerated of any wrongdoing but whose remaining life was a miserable shambles The best thing about “Skyway” is Bill DeYoung’s skill as a writer He was a journalist for decades and he writes with a clear factual economy combined with the ability to tell a story beautifully without overwriting He remains a detached observer while getting us inside the minds of those involved “Skyway” is one of the most compelling utterly engrossing non fiction works I’ve read this yearThe original Sunshine Skyway has been completely demolished now its approaches converted to fishing piers Taking over its role is a giant gleaming concrete cable suspension structure that The Travel Channel named one of the coolest bridges on earth It is I drove across the old Skyway once and it was scary Not just looking at the empty span 100 feet away but because of the narrow lanes and slick metal gridwork I’ve driven across the new Skyway over a thousand times and never worried That tragic stormy day in May has faded into the mists of the forgotten for many Tampa Bay residents Bill DeYoung’s spectacular new book takes me back to that day and its aftermath Whether or not you’re familiar with the story “Skyway” will keep you spellbound regardless of where you may live The Sunshine Skyway reaches across Tampa Bay connecting St Petersburg with Palmetto “Skyway” reaches across time connecting today with a tempestuous horrible day over 33 years ago Most Highly Recommendednb I received a review copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley

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Of the accident in 1980 that destroyed it and of John Lerro the harbor pilot steering the Summit Venture tha. Interesting read about a horrible tragedy Emotional Lots of details

Read Skyway AUTHOR Bill DeYoung

Skyway AUTHOR Bill DeYouT struck the bridge is spellbinding and reads like a mystery” Robert Kerstein author of Key West on the Ed. ’s hard to elicit raw terror in book form especially in the opening pages If the book is 300 pages you know there is still plenty to come Real life however is a gut wrencher For instance there’s no guarantee I’ll finish writing this review—or that you’ll finish reading it That’s why well crafted nonfiction such as Bill DeYoung’s Skyway can induce frights greater than most horror novels I white knuckled it through the first two chapters of Skyway a recounting of the Skyway Bridge disaster of 1980 and was impressed with DeYoung’s narrative talents from stem to stern Some background In 1980 a harbor pilot John Lerro was guiding a ship to the Port of Tampa A freak storm unleashed a nightmare scenario and without radar or visibility the ship the Summit Venture struck the bridge collapsing a span of road 150 feet high Thirty five vehicle bound victims including passengers in a Greyhound bus plummeted to their death It’s a tragedy mostly forgotten outside of Florida but DeYoung’s brilliant account should change that With a narrative journalism style he fleshes out the events of that morning with factual data news reports and first hand accounts We share the helpless terror of the Summit Venture crew as cars plunk into Tampa Bay We white knuckle it as a car grinds to a halt inches from the drop We cheer as motorists band together to halt oncoming traffic and shut down the bridge saving countless lives And then the book really gets good DeYoung a longtime journalist gives us a longitudinal view of the disaster from the rise of interstate commerce that necessitated the bridge to the haunted lives of the Skyway survivors decades later Some of the most interesting bits concern the role the interstate system and mid 20th century financial culture played in building the bridge and cutting corners from construction to upkeep Though it was Lerro who took the blame it was greed that forced the harbor pilots to take chances in foul weather Also in play was the exclusionary good old boy culture of the harbor pilots which deeply scarred Lerro who was exonerated of any wrong doing and in fact was commended for preventing deaths following the tragedy Skyway put me in mind of Nathaniel Philbrick’s In the Heart of the Sea The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex which is about as high a compliment as you can pay an author of narrative history Maybe I’ve just got a thing for maritime disasters I blame Poe and Arthur Gordon Pym for that but Skyway is a chilling informative and deeply engrossing narrative This is a book worthy of awards and deserving of the bestseller list