4-Year-Old Girl Saves Sister After Car Wreck
NASELLE, WA (KPTV)--A 4-year-old girl dragged her sister from the wreckage of a car crash that killed their mother and huddled up in some nearby brush until they were discovered hours later.
Washington troopers said an Astoria woman, identified as Jessica Rath, 26, was driving along the Washington coastline to pick up her fisherman husband near Long Beach Tuesday night.
At some point on the drive, she talked to her husband on the phone and learned he was actually arriving into the Port of Portland.
She turned the car around and began driving toward Portland.
Investigators said the last phone contact between husband and wife consisted of him telling her not to worry about driving to Portland and instead just to head back home to Astoria.
Rath, police said, told him she was OK to drive to Portland.
That was around midnight. Sometime after that, troopers believe Rath fell asleep behind the wheel, traveled off SR-401 near Naselle and slammed head-on into a tree.
Rath died at the scene.
Her 2-year-old daughter was severely injured in the crash. Police said the 4-year-old girl dragged her sister out of the car, along with a blanket, and hunkered down in nearby brush.
They remained there for hours.
Finally, around 8 a.m., a passer-by noticed the damaged trees and stopped to check out what had happened. That person discovered the crash scene, along with the injured children, and went to get help.
The girls were taken to a hospital in Astoria and were later flown to Oregon Health & Sciences University for further treatment. Troopers said their father is with the girls at the hospital.
The 2-year-old girl has been identified as Lylah Huff. OHSU confirmed she is a patient, but the family has asked for no other information to be released about her condition.
Arianna Rath, her 4-year-old sister, was released from the hospital by Wednesday night.
Family members declined to talk about the situation when contacted Wednesday.