Girl, 9, tries to save dad but he dies

March 25, 2013 at 7:47 AM
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LOS ANGELES, March 25 (UPI) -- A 9-year-old California girl survived a trek through rough terrain in darkness after a car crash, trying to help her father who later died, police said.

Investigators said the girl scaled a 200-foot cliff during the ordeal.

Authorities said Alejandro Renteria, 35, of North Hollywood failed to negotiate a curve on Sierra Highway Sunday, and the vehicle tumbled down into a canyon and landed in a ravine, leaving Renteria unconscious.

His daughter freed herself from the overturned vehicle and began walking toward a light about 1,000 feet away to find help for her father, KABC-TV, Los Angeles, reported Sunday.

No one came to the door of the house she found, so she made it back to the crash site, checked on her father and decided to climb 200 feet back up the canyon to the highway.

A motorist stopped for the girl and called police.

Renteria died from his injuries.

His daughter was flown to Children's Hospital in Los Angeles where she was reported in good condition with only bruises and a cut to her face, CNN reported Monday.

California Highway Patrol Sgt. Tom Lackey said he had never seen anything like the commitment the girl showed at her age.

"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," he said. "So for someone who is raised in a very urban environment as opposed to a rural setting, that can be quite intimidating."

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