Los Angeles (AP) — 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 removing the severely damaged black SUV from the canyon.
The CHP is investigating whether alcohol played a role in the crash.