It's the kind of story that rarely comes with a happy ending, but Morgan Lake's tale is the incredible exception. The 22-year-old was crossing Maryland's Chesapeake Bay Bridge on Friday night when she spotted danger in her rearview mirror: a truck barreling toward her at "full speed." It slammed into her twice, first pushing her 2007 Chrysler Sebring into the bridge's barrier and then catapulting it atop the 3.5-foot-high wall, where it briefly teetered—before falling some 40 feet into what the Baltimore Sun reports was no more than 8 feet of water. Lake tells the Washington Post that she "started to drown." Then she resolved to live.
"I went from panic to calm," she explains, and methodically unbuckled herself, pulled herself through the car's shattered window, and swam toward the surface. From there, she reportedly swam to one of the bridge's supports, and a boater assisted her until officials could come to her aid. Amazing fact No. 1: Her injuries amounted to only bumps and bruises. Amazing fact No. 2: It could have been much worse. The bridge, which reaches a height of 186 feet, is so renowned for being a fearful span to cross that police have been known to get behind the wheel for motorists who are too afraid to cross it. The Post points out that Travel + Leisure named it one of "the world’s scariest bridges" in 2010. (Click to read another amazing tale of survival.)