Woman Swims To Safety After Car Plummets Off Chesapeake Bay BridgeS

When your car goes flying off a bridge and plummets into the water, you really only have two choices: You can die, or you can survive. A Maryland woman chose the latter when it happened to her on Friday night.

The Washington Post tells the incredible story of 22-year-old Morgan Lake, whose car was hit from behind by an 18-wheeler not once but twice, sending it off the side of the bridge after it straddled the wall for a bit.

Lake says the 40-foot drop into the water "felt like eternity." When the car hit the water, its windshield and driver's side window shattered, filling the cabin with water.

Lake says she thought she was going to drown. And then she decided she didn't want that to happen that day.

But then, she said in a telephone interview late Sunday, “I got myself together,” and refused to drown.

She told herself that she could save her own life, and she did.

“I went from panic to calm,” she said. She proceeded in steps, first unbuckling her seat belt, then grabbing the window and getting out of the car.

She said it seemed to take a long time to reach the surface. She gasped for air as many as five times. She looked around and began to swim.

Amazing. Police officials say they aren't sure exactly how far Lake swam, but it was at least several hundred feet. She managed to get to a jetty, where rescue boats picked her up. She was released from a hospital on Saturday. The driver of the truck who hit her has not been charged.

Was it luck or just pure will to survive that saved Lake? Probably a little bit of one and a lot of the other.

Photo credit AP

Hat tip to Muffin!