Driver who swam away from Bay Bridge crash apprehended nearly a month later

Driver who swam away from Bay Bridge crash identified as Richmond woman

After a nearly month-long search, the woman who ended up in the water after crashing a stolen car on the Bay Bridge on Aug. 12 was arrested in Oakland on Sunday, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Erlynn Sanchez-Edwards, 25 — who amazed Bay Area residents after managing to flee authorities via the frigid Bay waters — was arrested on suspicion of vehicle theft, receiving a stolen vehicle, hit-and-run causing injury, resisting arrest and driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury, the CHP said.

CHP investigators caught up to her after receiving information that she had been staying in Oakland.

The incident on Aug. 12 unfolded about 2 a.m., when Sanchez-Edwards, whose last known address was Richmond, spun out in the eastbound lanes of the Bay Bridge’s eastern span in a stolen 2014 Nissan Maxima, according to CHP. Officers saw the crash scene from the westbound lanes and turned around at Treasure Island to investigate. One there, they found the vehicle abandoned and three women standing on the bridge’s bicycle and pedestrian pathway, CHP said. The women had apparently exited the Nissan and climbed over a railing to the pathway.

As officers approached, Sanchez-Edwards climbed over a second rail on the edge of the bridge and then either jumped or fell into the Bay waters, CHP said. Officers saw her floating until she went under the bridge and they lost sight of her. Officers were only able to recover an identification card she left behind.

A search for her in the water was unsuccessful, but some witnesses reported seeing her emerge and later get picked up at the toll plaza by a dump truck driver. Later in the day, officers interviewed the dump truck driver, whose description of the “soaking-wet” woman matched the description of Sanchez-Edwards.

The truck driver said he dropped Sanchez-Edwards off in San Francisco. The women she had been with on the bridge said they didn’t know her well and were released, CHP said.

Investigators later determined the Nissan had been reported stolen out of Los Angeles.