In a heartbreaking story, a car crashed off the road in Oregon, killing a mother and leaving her two daughters struggling to survive the wilderness. The older sister, just 4 years old, pulled her 2-year-old sister from the wreckage, heroically huddling with the toddler for hours under a blanket to stay warm until help arrived.
The car had come to rest deep in the woods and was invisible from the road. Temperatures were in the low 40s.
But then, miraculously, two fisherman came to the rescue and discovered 4-year-old Aryanna Rath and 2-year-old Lylah Huff.
“I want my mommy, I just want my mommy,” Aryanna said.
The Daily Astorian reported the tale of two fishermen, Kraai McClure and Scott Beutler, who spotted a basketball-sized scar in a tree located near State Highway 401 between Astoria, Oregon, and Naselle, Washington, on the morning of February 20. The fishermen often traveled this stretch of road and sensed that something was off. After the two men talked it over, McClure called 911 to see if any car crashes were recorded. The operator told them that no accident was reported overnight.
Beutler and McClure climbed into the woods and found the wreckage a few hundred feet from the road. There seemed to be no skid marks on the road, making it difficult for anyone to see where the car was. There they found the mother, Jessica Marie Rath, dead on the scene. “From my experience as a first responder, it looked like an accident scene. I went in to assess the scene and spotted the badly-wrecked car. I checked for vitals on the woman and there were none, no vital signs,” Beutler said.
Near the crash site, the two men found the girls, afraid and shocked. “I couldn’t see anyone else in the car so I turned back to the road and that’s when I saw two little girls off to the right and huddled under a blanket in the woods. I asked, ‘Are you babies OK?’ and then the oldest said, “I want my mommy, I just want my mommy,’” Beutler said.
A nurse, Cathy Scalzo, arrived to give medical assistance to the girls until the ambulance arrived to take the girls to the hospital, where they were reunited with their father, Keaton Huff.
McClure, a father himself, was glad to see the girls safe. “I wish the little girls’ dad the best. I’d like to talk with him if that would help. Oh boy, I sure hugged my two girls (Ashlee is 4, Kirra is 3) when I saw them yesterday. All the similarities – this hit too close to home for me,” McClure said.
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