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AAA Calls for Chesapeake Bay Bridge Review After Car Crashes Over Side

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SANDY POINT, Md. (CBSDC/AP) — AAA Mid-Atlantic is calling an investigation into the safety of barriers on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge after a crash sent a car off the bridge and into the water below last week.

In a letter to the National Transportation Safety Board on Monday, the motorclub called on the agency to investigate the crash.

In the letter, AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesman Lon Anderson says the crash raises questions about whether the bridge’s restraint system failed, whether it met federal specification or if those specifications may not be adequate for this kind of crash.

“It doesn’t take much to really put the fear of God in motorists who drive across the bridge,” Anderson tells WNEW.

The Maryland Transportation Authority says engineers found no structural damage from this crash at the scene. Authority police and Maryland State Police are investigating the crash and the authority says it welcomes NTSB involvement and insight.

Morgan Lake, 22, of Sunderland was on her way to visit friends and relatives on Friday when her car was hit by a tractor trailer. The car teetered on the wall for a time and then fell for what Lake said “felt like eternity.”

Once it landed in the bay, 40 feet below the bridge, water rushed into the car and Lake said she thought she was drowning.

“I didn’t want to go out that way,” she said. “The longest part was under the water because I had the time to think I was going to die.”

Lake said that once she told herself that she could save her own life, she relaxed, unbuckled her seatbelt and swam out. She pushed off the car for momentum and rose to the surface and took a breath.

Lake swam to some rocks, where she climbed up and waited for help. Division Chief Keith Swindle of the Anne Arundel County Fire Department said a passing boater stayed with her until police and fire department boats arrived.

WNEW’s John Domen contributed to this report. Follow him and WNEW on Twitter.

(TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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