Sailor Gutzler, the 7-year-old girl who survived a plane crash in Kentucky and walked barefoot to find help, has been praised for her courage.
In an interview with BBC, Larry Wilkins, 71, said that he answered the door to the “brave girl” on January 2 and that she told him her parents were dead.
The plane was later found along with the bodies of the girl’s parents, her sister and a cousin.
Sailor Gutzler is from Nashville, Illinois.
Larry Wilkins said Sailor Gutzler had walked almost a mile through a dark, dense wood in temperatures of about 40F to reach his house in Lyon County.
He added that she had been crying and bleeding when she arrived and had obviously “been through hell”.
“She had a bloody nose, her legs were scratched terribly bad,” he said.
Larry Wilkins thought that she had followed the light from his house to get to safety.
Sailor Gutzler is reported to have been released from hospital on January 3 after receiving treatment for minor injuries.
Kentucky State Police Lt Brent White said: “I’ve got an 8-year-old child myself. And when I saw this – what appeared to be a 7-year-old child that walked through this dense forest through some really tough terrain. Awful poor weather conditions – and survive this, it’s just really a miracle.”
The plane was found on January 2, about 30 miles east of Paducah city.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said air traffic controllers lost contact with the Piper PA-34 aircraft after the pilot reported engine problems.
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