SEATTLE (AP/Gray News) — Washington state authorities say 4-year-old twins freed themselves from their car seats and climbed an embankment seeking help following a car crash that killed their father.
KING-TV reported 47-year-old Corey Simmons of Langley died when the vehicle with his daughters in the backseat crashed into trees and down the embankment on Whidbey Island around 6 p.m. Friday.
Family members say the girls released themselves from their car seats and crawled out of the car before climbing about 200 feet (61 meters) up to the road after the accident 34 miles (55 kilometers) north of Seattle.
Police say the girls were transported to a hospital with minor injuries after an unidentified woman passing in her car went back to help and called 911.
Trooper Heather Axtman, a spokeswoman for the Washington State Patrol, described the area as very rural and said the chances that anyone would drive by and see the girls “was truly the right time at the right place” type of thing, according to CNN.
“We are so incredibly thankful," said Rebecah Crider, sister to the twin girls and Simmons’ stepdaughter. "We would love to personally meet her and thank her.”
The twins’ mother, Esther Crider, said the girls are traumatized by what happened, KING reports.
Axtman called the girls “extremely heroic and brave," noting how they were so young but able to find their way from the crash in the cold and dark, according to CNN.
“The bravery that these two little girls showed was incredible,” she said.
Authorities say Simmons was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. The accident is under investigation.