Maryland woman continues to inspire others after horrific Bay Bridge car accident 10 years ago – FOX 5 DC

Our FOX 5 Nana-Séntuo Bonsu inspired by one Marylanders survival story decides to learn how to swim and share her own story.
One Marylander is sharing her story and inspiring others 10 years after her horrific car crash on the Bay Bridge. 
"When people look at me walking down the street, they have no idea what I’ve been through," said Morgan Lake. 
It was a hot summer evening in 2013. "July 19th, I call it my second birthday," said Lake. 
She was driving eastbound on the Bay Bridge after an afternoon with friends. 
"As I get to pretty much reach the incline, the middle part of the bridge, I notice that there is a big red 18-wheeler flying behind me, in my rear-view mirror."  
Investigators with Maryland Transportation Authority Police say Lake was going no more than 5mph, but the driver of the truck who was doing about 50mph didn’t slow down. Slamming into the back of Lake’s Chrysler Sebring. 
"And pushed me on top of the jersey wall of the bridge, and then slid onto the barrier to where I started teetering. Literally life and death," Lake says. 
Police say her car fell about 30 ft into the bay. 
"When the water started submerging quickly like a waterfall, I thought I was going to die. But it was the sensation of drowning that turned my mind around," she adds. 
Lake was able to free herself through the shattered driver side window and started swimming towards the bridge.  
In this cell phone footage, you can see Lake clinging onto the rocks as she waited for help. 
In the video you can hear a man ask, "what’s your name?" and Lake, who is sitting on the rocks yells "my name is Morgan Lake."  
Bystanders watched, Lake who was 23 at the time, from the bridge and assured her that help was on the way. 
"You got to hold on, ok?" said a man. 
"I was able to pull myself on to the rock, my legs were still hanging out of the water," Lake adds. 
Lake was taken to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore where she was treated for her injuries.   
A decade after that terrifying crash Lake, who lives in Gaithersburg is on a mission. She’s now a swim instructor and coach, encouraging people to learn how to swim.   
"I feel completely overjoyed when one of my students can master the water," she says. 
Her story of survival is one that inspires many including FOX 5's Nana-Sentuo Bonsu, who decided to put her fears aside and learn how to swim. 
"Fear is a big factor when learning how to swim, and I think it comes in a few different forms," said Peter Lord. 
Lord is the aquatics director at the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington and my swim instructor.   
"Water is the great equalizer," Lord says. 
He explains that fear is normal and is sometimes generational. Peter says fear is normal and is sometimes generational.   
"I’ve heard of people say that their grandparent had a bad experience and lost someone in the water, and they’ve only told them to stay away from the water and never go in," he adds. 
The YMCA is trying to change that with several grants and programs to teach adults and children how to swim for free.  
"Swimming is the number two cause of death in children under the age of five," said Lord. 
According to the CDC the fatal drowning rate of Black children is three times higher than white children.   
"It’s a complex issue, it has a lot of ramifications, socio-geographical, economically and even culturally," Lord adds. 
He hopes the programs the y offers can help break some of these barriers.   
"In our grant program we actually have a woman who is 83 years old, and she’s learning how to swim for the very first time, and it’s very inspiring."   
Learning how to swim can at times be frustrating. Floating can be a challenge and kicking can be difficult.  But with courage and patience you can and will gain a lifesaving skill.  
"Had I not had that, I wouldn’t be here talking to you today," said Lake. 
Since becoming a certified swim instructor Lake has taught over 70 adults and children how to swim.  
Morgan tells FOX 5 she plans to write a book about her story on how she was given a second chance a life to help potentially save other lives.  
LL COOL J joined FOX 5 DC Friday morning to promote a new book featuring hundreds of essays from Hip Hop icons such as Nas, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Dr. Dre and Mary J. Blige.

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