Girl, 9, crawls out of crash that killed dad, walks mile for help

A 9-year-old girl climbed out of an SUV crash in a California canyon that killed her father and walked a mile at night before summoning a passing motorist for help.

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 semirural stretch of the Sierra Highway in Acton about 1 a.m. Sunday, California Highway Patrol Officer Cheyenne Quesada said. 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 authorities 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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