River Plunge Survivor Speaks

Melisa Borgaard was talking to her sister Alicia on a cell phone when she lost control of her SUV and crashed through the guardrail on a Portland, Ore., bridge Saturday.

She plunged over 60 feet to the icy waters of the Willamette River, but somehow managed to free herself from her sinking vehicle and was rescued by a police diver.

Borgaard was taken to a local hospital, where she was treated for hypothermia and minor cuts to her face.

On The Early Show Monday, Melisa told co-anchor Rene Syler she's "a little sore but, miraculously, OK."

Melissa says she was on a bridge that heads downtown and was speaking to her sister on a cell phone but had her hands-free set on. "Both of my hands were on the wheel and I was very aware of my surroundings.

"There's a metal grate over this bridge. I think it was just a combination of maybe wind and a lot of water. As soon as I went onto the metal grate, my car started to slide like it was on ice, and it started to slide into oncoming traffic, which made me way over-correct, trying to steer away from the oncoming car. As soon as my car hit the pavement again, it shot me off like a slingshot. My tires were already turned. So it just shot me off. It happened so quickly."

Alicia tells Syler she heard Melisa saying "Oh, my gosh" on the other end of the cell phone line, before it went dead. At that point, Alicia recalls, I was very panicked."

But, as the vehicle quickly sank, Melisa somehow was able to free herself through a window she thinks was broken by the guardrail as the SUV headed off the bridge: "I imagine a window must've been broken to let all the water in and make me go down so quickly. It was crazy. I, of course, thought I was going to die."

Instead, she surfaced. "I heard that people (onlookers) were telling me lay on my back," she says. "But all I heard was kinda some cheers, so I thought, 'Good, they know I'm here, so someone's gonna be getting help.' "