US girl walks to get help after crash

2013-03-25 14:03
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Los Angeles - A 9-year-old girl crawled out of a mangled sport utility vehicle (SUV), climbed out of a canyon and walked about a kilometre 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 60m down an embankment along a semi-rural stretch of highway about 01:00 Sunday, said the California Highway Patrol (CHP).

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 02:30.

"She walked quite a distance in a very, very threatening environment. It's very black out there, very dark," CHP Sergeant Tom Lackey told KABC-TV.

"It's very steep and it's brushy and there are also coyotes in the background."

Responding officers found a man in his 30s had been killed.

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 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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