Toddler wandered away from crash after parents killed

  1. I thought this story was amazing! Saw it on CNN.


    Surviving crash and cold, toddler placed with relatives
    Monday, March 10, 2003 Posted: 9:02 PM EST (0202 GMT)

    HIXTON, Wisconsin (AP) -- A 2-year-old girl who survived a car crash that killed her parents wandered across a freeway and was found in a grove of trees three hours later by authorities who tracked her footprints in the snow.

    The girl, Anita Kayachith, was at home with relatives in Minnesota on Monday, three days after the wreck.

    "She is doing great. She is wonderful," said Houmpheng Phongsavath, an uncle of one of the victims.

    The car was struck by a tractor-trailer that slid on ice and crossed the median of Interstate 94 early Friday, the Wisconsin State Patrol said. The car slid under the truck. The girl's parents, who were from Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, were killed.

    A trooper who noticed children's clothing, diapers and a "sippy" cup in the car started searching for a child.

    Trooper Rhonda Waldera, who is pregnant with her third child, spotted small footprints in the half-inch of new snow. Anita was sitting by a fence, in a pink shirt or jacket and in stocking feet in 25-degree cold.

    "She was quiet. She didn't say anything. She wasn't crying or anything like that," said Lt. Darren Price.

    Waldera said she was relieved the girl turned up safe.

    "She is a very, very lucky girl," the trooper said. "It made me appreciate my own when I got home."

    Investigators said the toddler was probably sleeping in the back seat of the car and climbed out after the accident.

    "She has just a scratch on her head, but nothing big," said Sandy Kayachith, whose brother, Laotian-born Souvorachak Kayachith, 21, and his wife, Melinda Athakhanh, 20, died in the crash.

    "I think my brother was just holding on and then helped her out," she said. "I think their spirit guided her and protected her, and that's why she lasted so long."

    The family was traveling to Georgia and Florida to visit relatives.
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   RNonsense
    omg...I didn't see that story. Makes me want to cry...
  4. by   emily_mom
    This happened VERY close to my house and job. It's just amazing that this toddler crossed 4 lanes of interstate traffic (how could no one have seen her???) and huddled by some trees.

    Her parents were both decapitated. Even at 2, I would imagine the sight of that would be haunting....

    She is now living with her aunt and uncle in Brooklyn Park, MN. What a sad day for such a little girl....
  5. by   ladyjane
    i just watched the story on fox, the aunt said the little girl told her that mommy and daddy were there and helped her. she also told her, (the aunt) that they were gone. amazing story.
  6. by   emily_mom
    I didn't realize this made national news...awfully sad.
  7. by   Little One2
    Wow, I that is a very sad incident to occur. It is amazing the toddler made across the freeway. Someone was watching over her.

    Also very traumatic.
  8. by   WalMart_ADN
    wow
  9. by   Beach_RN
    Twas a Miracle! Incredible story... a

    I am a "doubting Thomas" at times....but I do believe her parents were with her keeping her safe until they found her....
  10. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    <goosebumps>
  11. by   night owl
    Her mommy and daddy helped her? <double goosebumps> Her guardian angles were her parents! Made sure she made it across the highway safely! What a traumatic thing to have to go through!
  12. by   deespoohbear
    I saw this on the news too....like the Alabama song states "there are angels among us."

    I always believe that you should be charitable and kind to whoever you meet...you may not know it but you may be "entertaining" angels....

    What a tragedy for that child to lose both parents....and a miracle that she crossed the interstate safely and survived until she was found....
  13. by   emily_mom
    It is amazing, esp if you know the stretch of Interstate 94 it happened on. Very hilly and curvy. TONS of traffic. The median alone is huge (at least 250 ft, i'd guess). Scared me b/c their car was identical to mine. Makes me want to trade it in...can't get the pictures out of my head.

    I believe in guardian angels also. My mom watches over me.

    Kristy
  14. by   ShandyLynnRN
    That is amazing. I have goosebumps too!

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