9-year-old Hiked for Help after Car Crash that Killed Her Father

March 30, 2013

A 9-year-old girl who hiked for help after the SUV her father was driving crashed near Acton, is recovering from her injuries, the Los Angeles Times reports. The girl's father, 35-year-old Alejandro Renteria, was driving south on Sierra Highway near Soledad Canyon road when he lost control of his Ford Escape. California Highway Patrol officials said the vehicle rolled down an embankment. The girl managed to climb out of the SUV and make her way to a nearby home, but no one answered the door.

She then went back to check on her dad who was unconscious. After that, officials say, she hiked up a steep embankment in a "very dark and threatening environment" to the roadway where she flagged down a vehicle. Renteria was pronounced dead at the scene. The girl was transported to a hospital, but officials say she suffered only minor injuries. Officials are looking into the possibility of the involvement of alcohol. Family members say they are not surprised by the girl's brave actions because she was very close to her father. Officials say the path she took was dark, brushy and populated by coyotes.

LA Crash Statistics

According to California Highway Patrol's 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were 219 fatalities and 24,561 injuries involving car crashes in Los Angeles. In Los Angeles County as a whole, 530 people died and 50,513 were injured as a result of crashes during the same year.

Ongoing Investigation

Based on this news report, officials are still investigating the incident and are looking into whether the crash was alcohol-related. There are several questions here and I truly hope the family will be able to find the answers they are seeking at this time. I trust officials are looking into whether another vehicle was involved. It is important to determine here if a vehicle defect, mechanical malfunction, or a dangerous condition on the roadway, may have caused this tragic incident.

Protecting Victims' Rights

In such cases, injured victims or families of deceased victims would be well advised to contact an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, who will stay abreast of the official investigation and ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected. Accident investigations could take weeks or even months to be completed. The best personal injury law firms will always offer a free initial consultation and comprehensive case evaluation to injured victims and their families.