ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)- A man is now home safe after he got out of a vehicle following a crash, stumbled backward and fell some 30 feet off an approach to the Sunshine Skyway bridge.
Troopers say 43-year-old Reginald D. White of Bradenton stopped on Interstate 275 after a tire blew out on his SUV on Sunday night. As he changed the tire, White lost his balance and fell backward, over a barrier wall and into the water below.
White says he was able to save himself by swimming toward the closest piling, holding on and praying for help.
“I felt death. I felt death, but also I felt comfortable because I was down there singing praises. I was singing. I was holding on. I thought it was the end, but I was down there praising God.”
He held on for 35 minutes before firefighters finally found him and pulled him to safety.
Two passengers in the SUV were not injured.