Lissa Collins-Gudim, 28, was halfway across the Golden Gate Bridge, heading toward San Francisco from a house-hunting trip to Sonoma with her husband, Tim, when it began.
"The first thing I thought was maybe we'd lost all four tires," said the Pacific Palisades resident. "All of a sudden, the guy driving us, the real estate broker, said: 'Oh, my God! We're having an earthquake!' And then it got worse.
"The bridge was swaying . . . . The next thing that happened is that it began waving. It fanned, sort of. The cables--the little ones that go up and down--were like spaghetti. The big ones, those big fat ones, they were moving from side to side, six feet in either direction."
Brake lights flared. Cars screeched to a halt, each driver trying to avoid the next. Across the bay in San Francisco, a huge column of dust arose from the collapsed buildings in the Marina District.