Nine-year-old treks for help after father dies in California crash

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 25, 2013 7:30 PM

(Reuters) - A 9-year-old girl who survived a car crash in Southern California trekked almost 2 miles through rough terrain in the middle of the night to get help for her father, who died when the vehicle fell into a canyon, police said on Monday.

The girl's father, Alejandro Renteria, 35, was driving on an isolated part of the Sierra Highway in Los Angeles County early Sunday when he lost control of his sport utility vehicle, California Highway Patrol Officer Gil Hernandez said. The vehicle tumbled 200 feet down a canyon and flipped several times.

Renteria's daughter managed to unhook her seat belt and free herself from the wreckage and then hiked almost 2 miles in the dark to find help, Hernandez said.

The girl believed her father was still alive, he said.

"She went to a nearby house but no one opened the door," Hernandez said. "She then retraced her tracks back to the scene and then walked to the main road where she was able to wave down a motorist," he said.

"What she tried to do get help for her dad was very courageous," Hernandez said. "The vicinity where the accident happened is a remote desert area. It's very isolated and dark. There is a lot of brush and rock."

The girl was flown by helicopter to the Children's Hospital in Los Angeles on Sunday. She was treated for minor injuries, including bruises and abrasions to her face, hands and legs, Hernandez said.

(Reporting by Kevin Gray in Miami; Editing by David Bailey and Lisa Shumaker)