A woman driving a Chrysler was pushed off the Chesapeake Bay Bridge on the night of July 19, according to a preliminary report of the accident released Monday by the National Transportation Safety Board.
The 24-year-old woman driving the 2007 Sebring "rode along the top of the barrier wall" for a few moments before plummeting 27 feet off the bridge at about 8:24 p.m. A 29-year-old man driving a 2010 International truck-trailer first struck the woman's sedan, setting off a chain reaction that sent her over the ledge, and both vehicles into a 2014 Mazda, occupied by a 65-year-old man and his wife.
"The Chrysler came to rest between two bridge piers to the south of the eastbound span, in approximately 7 feet of water. The Mazda rotated counter-clockwise and came to rest near the left front corner of the International truck in the middle of the two travel lanes," according to the report.
While the investigation is ongoing, one lawmaker has asked the National Transportation Safety Board to examine the safety of the physical structure of the bridge, peak traffic hours and whether or not a new bridge is needed.
"I appreciate this update of the facts from NTSB's independent review and applaud their commitment to get to the bottom of this horrific crash," U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski said in a statement. "I asked the NTSB to conduct an investigation after hearing the concerns of many Marylanders who cross the Bay Bridge.
"This time of year, Maryland families are crossing the Bay Bridge for vacations on the Eastern Shore," she continued. "Others travel the bridge daily commuting to and from work. No matter your destination, everyone should feel safe crossing the bridge.
"I look forward to the NTSB's recommendations to ensure the bridge is the safest it can possibly be for everyone so that these type of accidents don't happen again."
About 25.5 million trips are made across the bridge annually, according to a release. The oldest span of the bridge was completed more than 60 years ago.