A 7-year-old girl is the lone survivor of a Kentucky plane crash which killed four family members yesterday evening.
Authorities told the Associated Press that the plane lost contact with air traffic controllers after reporting engine trouble, crashing in southwestern Kentucky just after 6 p.m. Shortly after, a 911 call was placed by a Lyons County, Ky. resident who said a little girl came to his home claiming to have walked away from a plane crash.
According to the Associated Press, the FAA said the plane was traveling from Tallahassee Regional Airport en route to Mount Vernon, Ill. Sgt. Dean Patterson of the Kentucky State Police identified the victims in a statement: Marty and Kimberly Gutzler, ages 48 and 46; Piper Gutzler, their nine-year-old daughter; and her 14-year-old cousin, Sierra Wilder. The victims hailed from Nashville, Ill.
The little girl's identity is being withheld at the family's request. She was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries yesterday, and the Associated Press reports that she was released this morning.
Patterson told the Associated Press that officials with the FAA are on hand to investigate, while the NTSB will arrive later today.
UPDATE: The little girl has been identified as Sailor Gutzler, the Associated Press reports. In addition, the Associated Press detailed the conditions that Gutlzer had to travel through to get help:
Bleeding and dressed in a short-sleeved shirt, Sailor emerged from the crash scene and walked three-quarters of a mile in near-freezing temperatures through thick briar patches and woods and had to wade through a creek. However, she went in the right direction and managed to find the nearest residence to where the plane went down.
According to the Associated Press, the bodies of Gutzler's parents, sister, and cousin have been transported to Louisville, Ky. for autopsies. Acting as a spokesman for the family, attorney Kent Plotner has asked that everyone respect the Gutzlers' privacy at this difficult time, and pray for them, "especially Sailor."
The NTSB continues to investigate the crash.
[via Associated Press]