Man jumps from Skyway, body found in burning car

October 13th, 2009 by

HILLSBOROUGH — St. Petersburg Fire Rescue authorities discovered a body in the trunk of a burning car on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge this afternoon.
A Florida Highway Patrol trooper reported seeing a man jump from the bridge around 3:43 p.m. and Hillsborough sheriff’s deputies say he is believed to be the driver of the vehicle.
Commuters on the bridge reported in 911 calls a vehicle on fire in one of the southbound lanes at about 3:16 p.m.
When firefighters arrived on scene they popped the trunk of the vehicle after extinguishing the fire and discovered the body, according to Debbie Carter, spokeswoman for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
Identification of the body is not yet available because it was burned beyond recognition, Carter said.
“It will be a while before we can identify the victim,” she said.
The extensive damage to the burned-out vehicle also hindered investigators from deciding the make and year of the vehicle.
A man’s body was picked up by a fisherman and taken to O’Neal’s Marina in St. Petersburg, deputies said. The identity of the man who jumped from the bridge has not been released.
One of the southbound lane remained opened as of 7 p.m. and traffic was moving across the bridge.

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