Sailor Gutzler, the 7-year-old sole survivor of the crash of a Piper PA-34-200T in Kuttawa, Kentucky, Friday night may soon speak to investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board about the incident, according to ABC News. The crash killed her parents -- Marty Gutzler, 49, and Kimberly Gutzler, 45 -- as well as her sister Piper Gutzler, 9, and her cousin Sierra Wilder, 14, Reuters reported.
NTSB investigator Heidi Moats did not offer an explanation for why the airplane may have crashed, ABC News reported. However, she did say the agency planned to remove the wreckage later in the day. Meanwhile, Marty Gutzler reported an engine problem before losing contact with air-traffic controllers.
He was piloting his plane between Key West, Florida, and Mount Vernon, Illinois, at the time of the mishap, Reuters said, citing a police source. Co-owner of a furniture store in Nashville, Illinois, he was a certified flight instructor and experienced commercial pilot, ABC News said, citing Federal Aviation Administration records.
Sailor Gutzler not only survived the plane crash but also walked a mile through thick woods in an attempt to get help, both for herself and for her family, Reuters said.
“She indicated to us that she believed her family was deceased, but that she hoped they were just sleeping,” Kentucky State Police Lt. Brent White said, according to ABC News. “I was literally just struck by how calm she was ... and the ability for her to give us this information.”
Also amazed by her composure was homeowner Larry Wilkins, who told CNN that Friday night he heard a faint knock, opened his door and saw a barefoot child with a bloody nose and scratched-up arms and legs. (Unbeknownst to him, she also had a broken wrist.)
“She told me that her mom and dad were dead. And that she had been in a plane crash,” Wilkins told the cable-news network. Describing the terrain between the crash site and his house as “very, very rough territory,” he said, “She’s a terribly brave little girl, I’ll tell you that.”