11:12 AM EDT, July 22, 2013
Twenty-two-year-old Morgan Lake is lucky to be alive after her car plunged over the side of a bridge considered by many to be the scariest in America. The bridge is very high and narrow, nearly 200 feet in spots and it's 4.3 miles from end-to-end.
Lake told INSIDE EDITION, “When I fell off that bridge, I really got one good scream in and I really felt that this was it."
It happened as Lake, a college student, was crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Maryland Friday night. A tractor trailer hit her from behind.
"Everything around me just exploded. Airbags everywhere, my whole front windsheild broke, my driver's side window broke."
Her car was dangling. Half on the road and half over the water.
"I start to feel like I am getting ready to tip," she said.
She plunged 40 feet into the water. The windshield and passenger windows shattered and her car filled with water and was sinking fast.
Lake said, "I had to change my thought process from freaking out to 'No, you are not going to settle for this. You are not going to die.'"
Remarkably, the part-time fitness instructor swam to a piling and held on till help arrived.
INSIDE EDITION’s Les Trent asked, “What did you yell up to the people on the bridge?”
She replied, “I yelled, 'Call my mom. Just call my mom.'”
Her terrifying ordeal will only fortify the fear felt by many drivers who cross the very tall and narrow span. Some motorists are so frightened they hire experts to take them over the bridge.
Carolyn Casey pays $25 to have a driver take her across the bridge in her own car.
Trent asked Casey, “What about this bridge?”
She said, “It's functionally obsolete, there are not even any emergency pull offs. A truck went over it."
In Lake’s case, that's exactly what happened. Her car went over the barrier.
Trent asked, “Have you seen the video of your car being lifted out of the water?”
She said, “I have. It brings me to tears. It hit me that I survived that, I swam out of that sinking car and it was just a miracle."