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Documentary on Sunshine Skyway disaster set to premiere

'The Skyway Bridge Disaster' will screen at the Tampa Theatre on Sept. 14.

TAMPA, Fla. — It was one of most the tragic days in Tampa Bay-area history. 

A freighter ship hit the Sunshine Skyway Bridge during a heavy rainstorm on May 9, 1980, causing part of the bridge to fall into the water below.

Among the 35 victims killed in the collapse, 23 were aboard a Greyhound bus that toppled into the water. 

RELATED: Sunshine Skyway Bridge collapse: Looking back on the tragedy 39 years later

Soon, a documentary on that day will debut at the Tampa Theatre.

"The Skyway Bridge Disaster" is set to screen at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 14. Tickets are on sale at the Tampa Theatre website.

The film's Facebook page says the documentary not only focuses on the disaster itself but on the courtroom drama that followed for Captain John Lerro, who was the harbor pilot responsible for guiding the Summit Venture through the bay's shipping channels that day.

The empty freighter was buffeted by a strong storm with 80 mph winds.

Steve Yerrid, who represented Lerro in court, will be at the screening, introduce the film and answer questions afterward with the filmmakers.

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