U.S. : Kentucky State authorities amazed by young plane crash survivor
Frankfort , Kentucky State , United States ( Agencies + DIPLOMAT.SO) – More federal investigators arrived Sunday to probe a small plane crash in rural Kentucky that left four dead, but also left one small survivor whose condition and ability to seek help has amazed authorities.
Seven-year-old Sailor Gutzler freed herself from the flipped-over plane and, dressed lightly on a frigid night with a broken wrist, scrambled roughly three-quarters of a mile through woods and tough terrain to seek help, state police said. She managed to find what police described as the nearest-possible local home.
“At the scene we were talking about that being some divine intervention,” said Lt. Brent White with the Kentucky State Police during a news conference Sunday.
Tragically, Sailor’s parents, sister and a cousin perished in the crash, which occurred Friday evening. The young girl, who was able to speak with police and help them when they reached her, had tried to communicate with her family and believed they were likely deceased, Mr. White said.
Still, she “hoped they were just sleeping,” he said.
National Transportation Safety Board investigators had no early word on a possible cause for the crash, which followed a report from the pilot, the girl’s father, of engine trouble.
A preliminary NTSB report could come in about 10 days, and the agency will likely speak with the survivor. “She is one remarkable young lady,” said Heidi Moats, an NTSB air safety investigator, during the news conference.
Kent Plotner, a spokesman for the Gutzler family, which is from the southern Illinois city of Nashville, said Sailor was with other family members on Sunday. They asked for privacy and “need time to grieve and adjust to this horrible tragedy,” Mr. Plotner said.
He announced a fund website to raise money for Sailor: www.sailorgutzlerfund.com. The fund website included photos of the young girl, including one with her family dressed in matching colors and holding hands on a beach.
The twin engine Piper PA-34 plane was en route to Illinois from Florida when it went down about 7 miles east of a small airport in the southwest corner of Kentucky, not far from the Illinois border.
When authorities reached the crash site, the plane’s other occupants were still inside, and may have braced for a crash landing, Mr. White from the state police said. Marty Gutzler, 49, Kimberly Gutzler, 45, Piper Gutzler, 9, and Sierra Wilder, 14, were found dead at the crash site.
But Sailor, who was dressed for Florida weather in shorts and a T-shirt, extricated herself from the plane and walked in near-freezing temperatures to find help.
“The girl was obviously distraught, probably in shock, but she was able to amazingly give us very detailed information,” Mr. White said.For more news and stories, join us on Facebook,Twitter , or contact us through our Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com