Morgan Lake's first moments after plunging over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, then climbing rocks to safety, were captured on video by another driver on the bridge:
Lake's 2007 Chrysler Sebring was sent flying 40 feet down off the four-plus mile bridge after colliding with a tractor-trailer Friday night.
As the video shows, the 22-year-old College of Southern Maryland student was able to make it out of her vehicle while it was submerged underwater. Lake swam to the surface and climbed onto rocks, where she told onlookers that she was alone in the car and asked if anyone had called her mother.
Others on the bridge assured Lake that her mother had been called and an ambulance was one the way.
"Help is coming, OK?" someone shouts to Lake from the bridge. "You're going to be fine. You're fine."
YouTube user Scott Fortney, who posted the video on Tuesday, describes what happened in a YouTube comment:
I was three cars behind her when her car was struck by the tractor trailer and flipped over the jersey wall. The car went under, appeared to be about 10'-15' of water depth, 30' foot drop from bridge. Morgan emerged and clung to rocks until water rescue took place.
Lake told NBC Washington what went through her mind after her car hit the water.
"I felt I didn't want to drown, I didn't want to go out that way...I had the time to think I was going to die, and the time to process to change my mind. And to stop fighting and to relax my body and unbuckle my seatbelt to swim out," she said, pushing back tears.