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Date of Issue: April 13, 2006

1 dead, 1 critical after SUV crashes, flies off bridge

This photo taken Sunday morning at the scene of the fatal accident on the Anna Maria Island Bridge Saturday night shows tire tracks leading to where the vehicle left the bridge. Courtesy Photo: NewsManatee photographer Craig Herbert
Crash scene, victim remembered
Friends and family gathered Monday on the Anna Maria Island Bridge to remember Zane Zavadil, who was killed in a Saturday night crash that sent the SUV in which he was a passenger into Anna Maria Sound. The driver, Ryan Costello, is reported to be in intensive care at Tampa General Hospital. Plans for a funeral for Zavadil include visitation from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Griffith-Cline Funeral Home, Island Chapel, Holmes Beach, and a service at 10 a.m. Friday at Westminster Presbyterian, Bradenton. Islander Photo: Rick Catlin

One young man is dead and one is in critical condition after the SUV they were in flew off the Anna Maria Island Bridge Saturday night at about 11:20 p.m.

Rescue units were immediately on scene from Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach, West Manatee Fire & Rescue, Manatee County Sheriff's Office, Manatee County Emergency Medical Services and the U.S. Coast Guard, and a short time later, the Florida Highway Patrol.

The first unit on scene followed the debris field to where they located the 1991 Toyota SUV submerged in deep water. 

Holmes Beach Police Officer Mike Pilato, then joined by Bradenton Beach Sgt. Chuck Sloan, raced to the shore and swam to the vehicle to remove the occupants, according to Holmes Beach Chief Jay Romine.

According to FHP Trooper Jared Ferris, the SUV was traveling westbound on State Road 64, and was crossing the Anna Maria Island Bridge when the driver lost control. The right front tire traveled over the north concrete curb. The driver then over-corrected back to the left, causing the SUV to slide across the roadway, jump the south curb and strike the south bridge rail.

The SUV went through the retaining rail on impact and fell 17 feet into the water, coming to rest on its roof. No pre-collision skid marks were observed, FHP reported.

Police went to work immediately and recovered two victims. One of them, passenger Zane Zavadil, 19, of nearby 10311 Sandpiper Road W., was dead at the scene.

The driver, Ryan Costello, 19, of 7610 Fourth Ave. W., Bradenton, was unconscious but was said by personnel at the scene to have a “faint pulse.” He was transported to Blake Medical Center in critical condition, then transferred to Tampa General Hospital, where he remained in intensive care at press time.

According to Sean Murphy, Beach Bistro owner, Costello is employed at the Bistro. Both men were graduates of Manatee High School.

The FHP spokesperson said the accident was alcohol-related. He said charges are pending and the investigation is ongoing.

WriterMike Quinn is publisher of He can be reached at