The Short of It
This story is almost too heartbreaking, yet amazing, to believe. A 7-year-old girl survived a small plane crash in which her parents, sister and cousin were killed. She then trudged almost a mile through dense woods to find help, while bleeding and wearing only one sock and a short-sleeved shirt in the frigid temperature.
Larry Wilkins, 71, answered his front door Friday and found Sailor Gutzler standing there, badly hurt.
"She was bleeding pretty bad; her legs were bleeding; her face had a bloody nose. She was barefoot, only had one sock on," Wilkins says.
She told him she'd been in a plane crash, the plane was upside down, and her family was dead.
Gutzler's family was flying home to Illinois in a Piper PA-34 after their vacation in Key West, Fla., when the plane went down, reportedly due to engine trouble. Amazingly, despite everyone else on board dying, the 7-year-old walked away with only minor injuries.
Gutzler then made her way to the lit home she could see in the distance, which was Wilkins'. She later told a Kentucky state policeman she understood her family had passed away, but that she hoped they were just sleeping.
The photo above shows a blue tent surrounding the wreckage of the crashed plane in Kuttawa, Ky.
My heart aches for Sailor, as I'm sure yours does too. I have a 6-year-old daughter, and I can't imagine how frightened she would be in this awful situation. To think of my sweet little girl walking nearly a mile to get help, after enduring a terrifying, overwhelming ordeal like Sailor's is just too much. I can't even let my mind go there.
So, I'm hoping and praying this incredible girl gets the love and support she will need to deal with the loss of her family and the nightmare of the crash. What an incredibly brave child.
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