Tags: kentucky | small | plane | crash

Kentucky Small Plane Crash Kills Her Family, but 7-Year-Old Survives

By    |   Monday, 05 Jan 2015 08:50 AM

A small plane crash in Kentucky killed four Friday night, but one 7-year-old girl survived with only a broken wrist, and used survival skills to traverse the woods to safety.

According to NBC News, Sailor Gutzler was returning home to Illinois with her parents, 9-year-old sister, and 14-year-old cousin on their Piper PA-34 prop-plane after a vacation in Key West, Florida.

Her pilot father, 48-year-old Marty Gutzler, made a distress call around 5:55 p.m., citing engine trouble. The plane soon crashed in a wooded area of western Kentucky. The exact cause of the crash remains under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.

"She literally fell out of the sky into a dark hole and didn't have anybody but her own will to live and get help for her family," Kentucky Police Lt. Brent White said at a news conference Sunday. With a broken wrist, Sailor climbed out of the wreckage, and started making her way to the light of a nearby home nearly a mile away.

"She told me that her mom and dad were dead, and she had been in a plane crash, and the plane was upside down," said homeowner Larry Wilkins, who brought the second-grader inside and called 911.

"She had one sock on her feet, and she walked all that distance barefooted," Wilkins told CBS News. "I wouldn't want to go in that woods right now in the dark without any lights whatsoever. I wouldn't want to do it. I know you'd fall. There's no doubt in my mind. She's a brave little girl."

After being treated for her injuries at Lourdes Hospital in Paducah, Kentucky, Sailor told police everything she remembered.

"She indicated to us that she believed her family was deceased but that she hoped they were just sleeping," said White. "I was literally just struck by how calm she was able to be and the ability for her to give us this information."

The wreckage of the plane has been moved to a location where it can be better inspected, and a preliminary crash report is expected in roughly two weeks.



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A small plane crash in Kentucky killed four Friday night, but one 7-year-old girl survived with only a broken wrist, and used survival skills to traverse the woods to safety.
kentucky, small, plane, crash
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2015-50-05
Monday, 05 Jan 2015 08:50 AM
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