Plane Crash's Lone Survivor, 7, Had Only Her 'Own Will to Live'

Sailor Gutzler 'done a hell of a job' in hiking barefoot from wreck
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2015 8:55 AM CST
Kentucky State Police Lt. Brent White speaks near the site of a plane crash, Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015, in Kuttawa, Ky. A 7-year-old girl is the lone survivor.   (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
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(Newser) – The 7-year-old child who walked away from a plane crash that killed four members of her family has been released from the hospital with a broken wrist and cuts and scratches, but Kentucky officials are amazed by the scope of her toughness. "She literally fell out of the sky into a dark hole and didn't have anybody but her own will to live and get help for her family," a police rep tells the AP. "Absolutely amazing." In the silence in the wake of the crash, Sailor Gutzler didn't know if her mom, dad, sister, and cousin were dead or just unconscious. So, clad in shorts, a T-shirt, and a lone sock, she made the three-quarter-mile trek in near-freezing conditions to Larry Wilkins' home to get help. He describes her thusly: "bloody nose, bloody arms, bloody legs, one sock, no shoes, crying."

"She's a brave little girl, extremely," Wilkins tells Sky. "She done a hell of a job as far as I'm concerned." The NTSB has arrived on the scene and is investigating the cause of the crash, reports ABC; dad Marty Gutzler, 48, was an experienced pilot and certified flight instructor. "He loved flying," says a family friend. "You didn't have a conversation with Marty without him talking about flying." Meanwhile, neighbors in the Gutzler family's hometown of Nashville, Ill., are grieving the loss of Marty Gutzler, as well as Sailor's mom, Kimberly, 46; sister Piper, 9; and cousin Sierra Wilder, 14. "All the kids in the neighborhood are just so upset about this," says one neighbor, noting that Sailor and Piper were inseparable. "That's what's going to be so devastating for the little one."

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