Chloe Kabealo unbuckled her seatbelt after the car her mother was driving slid off a muddy Australia road into a flooded river and tried to "go up for air," then "just kept floating up out." That's how the 8-year-old survived the crash as the car sank, a harrowing experience she relived at a fundraising event this week, the BBC reports—but her mother, 11-year-old sister, and 7-year-old brother all drowned. "I'm not holding up," Chloe's dad, Matt, who was not in the car, said at the event. "I'm just being strong for my daughter."
Chloe ran to a nearby farmhouse to get help, but rescuers couldn't save Stephanie King, 43, who was found to have died while trying in vain to save her other two children. "The mother was trying to get one of her children out of the car when she passed away," the local police superintendent told 7 News after the crash three weeks ago. "She was with the child, holding the child. I have no doubt she would still be alive if she wasn't trying to save her children." The fundraising event raised more than $10,000 for the family, news.com.au reports. (Read more accidental death stories.)