Sunday, January 4, 2015

Family Identifies Sailor Gutzler - 7 Year Old Sole Survivor of Plane Crash That Killed Parents

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The Gutzler family have identified the 7yr old girl who survived a plane crash that killed her parents, sister and cousin on Friday evening January 2nd. The small plane the family was flying in, a Piper PA-34, went down in Western Kentucky but while all the other passengers died on the spot, Sailor Gutzler survived.

In the darkness, Sailor walked barefoot in just one sock, for three-quarters of a mile until she found a house with lights and knocked on their door, telling them what had just happened to her family.

Larry Wilkins, the man whose home Sailor knocked on told CNN;

"She told me that her mom and dad were dead, and that she had been in a plane crash."

"She's a terribly brave little girl, I'll tell you that. I can't imagine a 7-year-old doing that."

"I just feel so sorry for that little girl, I can't understand it. I just can't imagine (going through) that, for someone that young."

Wilkins said he got the little girl on his couch and called the police who later found the wreckage of the plane. Sailor was also taken to the hospital but not for any life threatening injuries. She was released to family a few hours later.

FAA investigators in Kentucky are trying to find out what caused the crash.

Sailor with her mom and sister

The parents

The Gutzler family in 2010

Kentucky State Police identified the dead early Saturday as Marty Gutzler, 48; Kimberly Gutzler, 46; and 9-year-old Piper Gutzler -- a husband, wife and their daughter. Also killed was 14-year-old Sierra Wilder, the survivor's cousin. All were from Nashville, Illinois.

The Rev. Matthew Wietfeldt of Nashville's Trinity Lutheran Church said, "The Gutzlers were a wonderful family and wonderful members of our congregation and community."

He adds that he's known for four years, and they "will be deeply missed."

Kent Plotner, an attorney representing the family, said in a statement,

"The Gutzler family mourns the loss of Marty, Kim and Piper Gutzler and Sierra Wilder. We are devastated by this loss, but are confident that they rest in God's loving arms. We ask that you respect our privacy at this difficult time. Please pray for us, especially for Sailor Gutzler."

A fund has been set up "for the benefit of Sailor Gutzler," at Plotner added that the family thanked everyone, "for the heartfelt words of sympathy that have been expressed during this unimaginable loss."

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