Sailor Gutzler, the 7-year-old girl who was the Kentucky plane crash sole survivor, used the wreckage flames to light a stick and find her ways through the woods. During her nearly mile-long trek in the dark, the bloodied and bruised child endured pain from broken bones until she found the home of Larry Wilkins.
The Kentucky plane crash occurred near Kuttawa in the southwestern part of the state. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the FAA received an emergency distress call from the Piper PA-34-200T piloted by Marty Gutzler, 49. The Gutzler family on board the plane included 7-year-old Sailor Gutzler, her 9-year-old sister Piper Gutzler, their mother Kim Gutzler, and 14-year-old cousin Sierra Wilder. The family was flying from Key West, Florida to Mount Vernon, Illinois in the private plane.
Sailor Gutzler traversed hilly and thorny terrain in the dark to find help. When Larry Wilkins opened the door to answer the knock, he found a very scared, visibly shaken, and bloodied little girl on his front porch.
“I opened the door and this little girl was standing there with a bloody nose, bloody legs, and a bloody arms,” the Kentucky senior citizen told NBC News. “She was bleeding pretty bad, her legs were bleeding, and her face had a bloody nose. Her voice was quivering. She told me her mom and dad were dead and she was in a plane crash and the plane was upside down,” he added.
The Gutzler family was from Nashville, Tennessee. Sailor Gutzler and her family were traveling back from Key West where they had celebrated New Year’s Eve at The Reach Resort. A cousin, Sierra Wilder, joined the couple and their daughters to enjoy the tropical excursion and to act as a babysitter. Dr. Alan Froehling, a neuromuscular orthopedic doctor from Mount Vernon, Illinois, owned the Piper Seneca aircraft, according to the Daily Mail.
Larry Wilkins said Sailor Wilkins was barefoot except for one sock and she asked if she could stay at his home. The Kentucky plane crash survivor was so distraught that she could barely be understood by first responders when they arrived at the Wilkins home.
Kentucky State Police Lieutenant Brent White said the crash and Sailor Gutzler’s survival was extraordinary.
“She literally fell out of the sky into a dark hole and didn’t have anybody but her own will to live and get help for her family. Absolutely amazing,” he said. “She’s upside down in an aircraft that’s crash-landed, she is in shorts and a t-shirt, she’s seven years old, she has broken bones, she pulls herself out of the aircraft, she’s in a place where she doesn’t see any lights, she walks through thorns, briers, a 12-foot ditch, and continues to walk in that environment with no shoes on until she sees a light on in a house,” Lt. White added.
Gutzler family friend Troy Dunbar, who worked at Marty Gutzler’s furniture store in Nashville, said Sailor Gutzler has one living sibling. Kim Gutzler’s adult son, Nick Brink, is a member of the military and stationed in Key West. The family had visited him during their trip.
“We are devastated by this loss, but are confident that they rest in God’s loving arms. Please pray for us, especially for Sailor Gutzler,” a statement released by the family said.