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Maryland woman survived fall from Chesapeake Bay Bridge

Drivers are generally taught to proceed with caution when road conditions are dangerous, in part because the risk of severe injury or death dramatically increases. A recent example of such a crash occurred on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and included one woman's feat of heroic strength and perseverance to save her own life when she miraculously survived a fall in her car off of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

The woman, a student at the College of Southern Maryland, was driving across the bridge on her way to visit friends when she was struck by a tractor trailer. The truck pushed her car into a barrier. The barrier pushed her back onto the roadway and then the truck smashed into the car a second time propelling it up into the air and over the concrete wall. The car straddled the wall for a moment then tipped over and fell 40 feet into the bay.

When the car hit the water its windshield and driver's side window shattered. The window shattering would be what likely saved the woman's life. She told authorities that the car filled with water and she began to panic, but told herself in the moment that she could save her own life. She calmed down, unbuckled her seat belt and swam through the broken window. She then swam to the surface of the water, gasping for air for a moment. The woman then swam several hundred feet to the base of one of the bridge supports and waited for help.

The car accident is still under investigation by authorities. Whether the driver of the truck was negligent in his actions is still unknown. If investigators find that the driver was negligent, he and his employer may be liable for any of the 22-year old's medical expenses or other damages that resulted from the accident. Luckily, this accident did not result in any fatalities or serious injuries. All too often, that is not the case when it come to car accidents involving dangerous road conditions.

Source: Washington Post "Woman who survived Chesapeake Bay Bridge car plunge describes swim to safety," Martin Weil and J. Freedom du Lac, July 21, 2013

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