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Girl, 9, climbs out of mangled SUV, canyon, walks to get help after crash kills dad

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Sunday, March 24, 2013 05:50 pm
LOS ANGELES — A 9-year-old girl crawled out of a mangled SUV, climbed out of a canyon and walked about a mile in the middle of the night to find help after surviving a highway crash that killed her father in Southern California, authorities said. The 2010 Ford Escape was launched about 200 feet down an embankment along a semi-rural stretch of the Sierra Highway in Acton about 1 a.m. Sunday, said California Highway Patrol Officer Cheyenne Quesada. The vehicle overturned several times.

The girl managed to extricate herself and walk through rugged terrain to a nearby home, but nobody answered the door, the CHP said. Then she hiked up the steep embankment and along the road to a commuter rail station where she flagged down a passing motorist at about 2:30 a.m.

“She walked quite a distance in a very, very threatening environment. It’s very black out there, very dark,” CHP Sgt. Tom Lackey told KABC-TV. “It’s very steep and it’s brushy and there’s also coyotes in the background.”

Responding officers found a man in his 30s had been killed, Quesada said. His name was not released but officials said he was from Los Angeles.

A helicopter transported the girl to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She was treated for minor injuries including bumps and bruises and a cut on her face.

Television footage showed crews extricating the severely damaged black SUV from the canyon.

The CHP is investigating whether alcohol played a role in the crash.

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