An Annapolis, MD, woman who survived being impaled by a falling tree branch said she was so stunned by the incident, she didn’t realize a branch the thickness of a baseball bat had gone completely through her thigh.

“It was very sudden and I didn’t see it coming at all,” said Briana Clark, 20, in a telephone interview from her hospital bed at the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where she remains in serious condition.

Clark was riding in the passenger seat of a Honda Civic Tuesday. Her boyfriend was behind the wheel. The couple was fleeing a community beach area where they had been flying kites as severe weather approached.

The storm struck their car while they were on the 2600 block of Carrollton Road in Annapolis. A branch went through the car and into her leg. It brought down power lines as well.

Clark said she endured more than an hour of anxiety as first responders worked to carefully cut each end of the branch and ease her out of the car with a large section still impaling her thigh just above the knee.

“I just hoped I wasn’t going to get a fake leg, and I was wondering if I was going to lose too much blood,” Clark recalled.

She said rescuers from Anne Arundel County and the City of Annapolis kept her calm and reassured as they worked.

Surgeons removed the section of tree limb that remained embedded in Clark’s leg once she was taken to Shock Trauma.

Clark said the branch came very close to severing her femoral artery, which would have likely been a fatal injury.

“It’s only bruised,” she said.