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A 9-year-old girl survives car crash, walks two miles to get Dad help

Celia Renteria, a 9-year-old, crawled out of a crashed SUV, climbed out of a California canyon, and walked nearly two miles in the dark to get help for her father, who was in the car. But he died.


An SUV in Action, Calif., crashed on Sunday, March 24, 2013. A 9-year-old girl crawled out of the mangled 2010 Ford Escape, climbed out of a canyon and walked almost two miles in the middle of the night to find help after the crash that killed her father, authorities said.

(AP Photo/KABC TV)

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Law enforcement officials praised the bravery and tenacity of a 9-year-old girl who crawled out of a mangled SUV at the bottom of a remote Southern California canyon and hiked nearly two miles (over three kilometers) to find help for her father, who was pinned in the driver's seat following a rollover crash.

Celia Renteria was sure her father was still alive when she climbed up the rocky embankment early Sunday, said California Highway Patrol Officer Gil Hernandez. When officers responded more than an hour and a half later, they found Alejandro Renteria, 35, was dead.

"She was very courageous, being able to walk through the dark, through bushes and very rough terrain to get help for her dad," Hernandez said. "Had she just waited there, we probably would not have found her until the next day."


The 2010 Ford Escape was launched about 200 feet (60 meters) down into the canyon along an isolated stretch of the Sierra Highway in the high desert of northern Los Angeles County at about 1 a.m. Sunday, the CHP said. The vehicle overturned several times.


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