LYON COUNTY, KY - A sad start to the new year for a 7-year-old girl from Nashville, Illinois; one she won't forget.
Friday night, the Gutzler family was flying back home from Florida when the Piper PA-34 plane she and four family members were traveling in crashed, shortly after reporting engine trouble and losing contact with air traffic controllers.
"I just can't imagine someone that young going through that. Especially to witness it, you know, to witness her parents dying," said Larry Wilkins, who helped the little girl get help.
She lost her parents, Kimberly and Marty, along with her sister and cousin when the plane crashed in a wooded area in Lyon County, Kentucky.
Somehow, the 7-year-old girl miraculously survived the crash. The lone survivor did what many of us wouldn't have the courage to do.
Bruised, bloody, and barefoot, the brave girl pushed her way through a rugged, pitch dark forest in nearly forty-degree weather to find help.
"There's one creek bed that was probably 12-feet deep that she walked through to get from point A to point B," said Lt. Brent White of the Kentucky State Police.
After walking nearly a mile, she found Wilkins' home.
The little girl was released from Lourdes Hospital, but healing from this tragedy will take more than a trip to the emergency room.