Girl, 7, Miraculously Walks Away From Ky. Plane Crash That Killed Four Family Members

Pam WrightLife

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A 7-year-old girl walked away from a small-plane crash Friday that killed four family members in southwest Kentucky, according to Kentucky State Police.

The girl, who's name is being withheld at the request of the family, walked nearly a mile to the home of a Lyon County resident to report the crash. The girl was taken to the hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries, according to Lex18.

"This girl came out of the wreckage herself and found the closest residence and reported the plane crash," said Sgt. Dean Patterson of the Kentucky State Police. "It's a miracle in a sense that she survived it, but it's tragic that four others didn't."

The crash site was located a few hours later in a wooded area, along with the bodies of the girl's family members among the wreckage, Patterson said.

Lex18 reports that the girl's parents, a 9-year-old sister and a 14-year-old cousin lost their lives in the crash.

The victims — identified as 49-year-old Marty Gutzler; 45-year-old Kimberly Gutzler; their daughter, 9-year-old Piper Gutzler; and her cousin, 14-year-old Sierra Wilder — were from Nashville, Illinois. The name of the 7-year-old passenger is being withheld at the request of family.

According to state police, the twin-engine Piper PA-34-200T lost contact with air traffic controllers in Memphis, Tennessee, around 6:30 p.m. CST as it was flying over Marshall County after the pilot reported engine problems.

The plane reportedly took off from Key West, Florida, Friday and was headed to Mount Vernon, Illinois, authorities said.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are expected to arrive at the crash site Saturday.

Pam Wright