Reporting Derek Valcourt
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — As if the story of her car plummeting over the edge of the Bay Bridge wasn’t dramatic enough, there’s new video of a Calvert County woman emerging from the waters of the Chesapeake Bay–seconds after the crash.
Derek Valcourt shows us that video and explains how federal investigators are now getting involved.
Late Wednesday afternoon, WJZ learned two federal investigators are on the way to closely evaluate the safety of the bridge–after an accident that left one woman struggling in the water.
Morgan Lake, 22, hangs on for dear life to some rocks under one of the Bay Bridge supports after her incredible swim to safety, as witnesses watch from above.
Witness: “Hang on, we called 911. Hang on!
Witness: “They’re coming. They’re sending help. They’re sending help. We told them it’s a really bad accident and that you’re in the water. There’s nobody else in there, is there?”
Witness: “You’ve got to hold on, okay?”
Friday night, a collision with a tractor trailer forced her car over the Bay Bridge’s Jersey wall, falling nearly 40 feet.
Scott Forney, of Alexandria, Va., was three cars behind the accident. He grabbed his cell phone and started recording.
“Seeing her clinging to the rocks as she was, No. 1: Is she safe? No. 2: Is there anyone else in the vehicle? Because being only about 30 feet down, I think some of us were ready to jump in if need be,” Forney said.
In his video, you hear witnesses trying to help the young college student.
Witness: “What’s your name?
Lake: “My name is Morgan Lake.”
Witness: “Morgan, hang on! Help is coming, okay? You’re going to be fine.”
Lake is already out of the hospital and recounting her terrifying plunge into the bay.
“I got one good scream in. And after that scream, the car hit the water,” she said.
Her accident is now sparking mounting concerns over bridge safety.
“Are the barriers high enough?” asked Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski.
Wednesday afternoon, Sen. Mikulski took the Capital floor, joining AAA asking for the National Transportation Safety Board to investigate the safety of the Bay Bridge.
It appears those calls for action have been answered. The NTSB is now saying they will send two investigators to meet with Maryland authorities Thursday, as they try to evaluate whether there were any nationwide safety issues involved in this recent crash on the bridge.
Inspectors say the accident caused no structural damage to the bridge.
Maryland Transportation Authority police say it could be several weeks before they complete the investigation on the cause of the crash.