A 9-year-old girl climbed out of a canyon and walked a mile in pitch-black darkness early Monday morning to get help for her dying father after their car crashed on Southern California's Sierra Highway and tumbled 200 feet down into a ravine.
Authorities said Alejandro Renteria, 35, and his daughter were driving along the highway near Acton around 1 a.m. Monday when Renteria lost control of his SUV. The vehicle overturned several times as it fell down an embankment into a canyon. The girl, whose name has not been released, crawled out the car and started walking toward a light about 1,000 feet in the distance, California Highway Patrol Sgt. Tom Lackey told ABC's Los Angeles affiliate, KABC
The girl reportedly made her way to a home, but no one answered the door so she backtracked to the scene of the crash to check on her father, who was still unconscious.
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Then, officials said, she scaled a steep cliff and started walking on the Sierra Highway, where a passing motorist spotted her, stopped, and called 911.
"She walked quite a distance in a very, very threatening environment. It's very black out here, very dark. It's very steep and it's brushy and there's also coyotes in the background," Lackey told KABC. "So for someone who is raised in a very urban environment as opposed to a rural setting, that can be quite intimidating."
Renteria ultimately died from injuries he sustained in the crash, and his daughter was flown to Children's Hospital in Los Angeles. She was in good condition with only minor bruises and a cut to her cheek, police said. The girl reportedly told authorities she and her father were coming home from a party and he had trouble navigating the curvy roads in the dark.
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Lackey told KABC that alcohol is thought to have played a role in the wreck, but that the investigation was still ongoing.
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