Girl Hikes A Mile To Get Help After Crash Kills Dad

8:29 AM, Mar 25, 2013   |    comments
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(USA TODAY) -- A 9-year-old girl who survived a car crash into a ravine in Acton, Calif., scrambled over rough terrain and even up a steep embankment, seeking help for her father, who did not survive, according to local media.

The girl went for help after their SUV, driven by 35-year-old Alejandro Renteria, of North Hollywood, tumbled down a 200-foot canyon on Sierra Highway in southern Los Angeles County around 1 a.m. Sunday and landed at the bottom of a ravine, KABC-TV reported.

The girl climbed from the wreckage and first tried to get help at a house about 1,000 feet away, but no one answered the door, KABC reported.

She went back to check on her unconscious father, then set out again to find help.

California Highway Patrol Sgt. Tom Lackey said the girl, who was not identified, said she scaled a steep cliff to the highway, and headed for the Metro train station about a mile away. City News Service said the temperature was around 30 degrees at the time.

En route, a motorist spotted her around 2:30 a.m., stopped and alerted authorities.

"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."

Lackey said the girl, who was taken by helicopter to Children"s Hospital in Los Angeles, was in good condition with only minor bruises and a cut to her cheek.

She told officers that she and her father were heading home from a party when Renteria began having trouble navigating the sharply winding roads. The SUV appears to have rolled over several times before it came to a stop.

Television footage showed crews extricating the severely damaged black SUV from the canyon.

Officers said they are investigating whether alcohol played some role in the crash.

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