They were on their way home from a family holiday in Florida when tragedy struck. The small plane they were flying on was hit with engine trouble and it came down. A family of four and a 14-year-old relative on board.
Four of the five on the Piper PA-34 plane heading for the US state of Illinois died.
This awful story has one small shining light – a small girl, aged just seven, who miraculously managed to survive.
Her tale of courage and survival is making headlines right across the world.
According to the NY Daily News the plane carrying Kimberly and Marty Gutzler, their two daughters nine-year-old Piper and seven-year-old Sailor as well as their cousin Sierra Wilder, 14, crashed in a heavily wooded part of southwestern Kentucky.
Sailor, the only survivor, called out to her family as she tried to wake her mother and father, but no one responded.
Suffering a broken arm and many cuts and bruises, Sailor was alone. She told police that she thought her family might be knocked out, or possibly dead. She knew she knew she needed to get help.
So this amazing seven-year-old, bleeding and dressed in summer clothes – a short-sleeve shirt, shorts and one sock – walked more than a kilometre in near-freezing temperatures.
She finally saw a light and made her way toward it.
Inside a 71-year-old man was startled by his dog barking. He had just finished watching the evening news and was about to put his computer on when he heard a knock at his door.
CNN reports that Larry Wilkins answered to find a tiny girl, bleeding, with only one sock on. Trembling and crying.