A 4-year-old girl dragged her sister from the wreckage of a car crash that killed their mother and huddled up in some nearby brush until they were discovered hours later.
Washington troopers said an Astoria woman, identified as Jessica Rath, 26, was driving along the Washington coastline to pick up her fisherman husband near Long Beach Tuesday night.
At some point on the drive, she talked to her husband on the phone and learned he was actually arriving into the Port of Portland.
She turned the car around and began driving toward Portland.
Investigators said the last phone contact between husband and wife consisted of him telling her not to worry about driving to Portland and instead just to head back home to Astoria.
Rath, police said, told him she was OK to drive to Portland.
That was around midnight. Sometime after that, troopers believe Rath fell asleep behind the wheel, traveled off SR-401 near Naselle and slammed head-on into a tree.
Rath died at the scene.
Photos from Washington State Patrol show how far the car went off the highway before crashing in thick brush.
Rath's 2-year-old daughter was severely injured in the crash. Police said the 4-year-old girl dragged her sister out of the car, along with a blanket, and hunkered down in the cold in that brush.
They remained there for hours.
Finally, around 8 a.m., a passer-by noticed the damaged trees and stopped to check out what had happened. That person discovered the crash scene, along with the injured children, and went to get help.
"That's the good part, that they were both alive," said Bert Haven, with the Naselle Volunteer Fire Department.
Haven was among the first responders to arrive at the scene.
"The 4-year-old was telling us the story, she had said that she actually got the 2-year-old out of the car," Haven said. "So, as far as we know, the 4-year-old got the 2-year-old out of the car and had a blanket that she covered them both."
The girls were taken to a hospital in Astoria and were later flown to Oregon Health & Sciences University for further treatment. Troopers said their father met the girls at the hospital.
The 2-year-old girl has been identified as Lylah Huff. OHSU confirmed she is a patient, but the family has asked for no other information to be released about her condition.
"We could tell the 2-year-old was sick and needed to be out of there right away," Haven said of the crash scene.
Arianna Rath, her 4-year-old sister, was released from the hospital by Wednesday night.
Family members declined to talk about the situation when contacted Wednesday.
Washington State Patrol continues to investigate the crash.
Copyright 2013 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.
Girls, ages 2 and 4, survive cold night after crash kills momMore>>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 5:01 PM EDT2013-05-22 21:01:34 GMT
WNEM TV5 has learned the Michigan State Police bomb squad has been called to a pawn shop in Bay City. The Bay County Sheriff's department said someone was hoping to pawn the hand grenade but when staffMore >
WNEM TV5 has learned the Michigan State Police bomb squad has been called to a pawn shop in Bay City to check out a hand grenade.More >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 1:21 PM EDT2013-05-22 17:21:07 GMT
Police in Saginaw responded to the scene of a shooting overnight on the city's west side. The shooting happened just before 3 a.m. Wednesday off of North Woodbridge Street, between Hayes and Throop Streets.More >
Police in Saginaw responded to the scene of a shooting overnight on the city's west side and the victim has been identified.More >
Police say a 1-year-old boy has died after being found unresponsive in a water-filled bathtub in Flint. The Flint Journal reports police are treating the child's death Monday night as suspicious. TheMore >
Police say a 1-year-old boy has died after being found unresponsive in a water-filled bathtub in Flint and now his parents have been charged in connection to his death.More >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 5:04 PM EDT2013-05-22 21:04:20 GMT
A two-car crash between Bridgeport and Frankenmuth has resulted in the closure of Junction Road. The crash happened around 1 p.m. on Wednesday on Junction, between Reimer and Dixie Highway. BridgeportMore >
A two-car crash between Bridgeport and Frankenmuth resulted in the deaths of two people on Junction Road Wednesday afternoon.More >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 1:01 PM EDT2013-05-22 17:01:00 GMT
Authorities say a 37-year-old man is dead after being hit by a pickup truck while stopped along the side of a mid-Michigan roadway to check on another motorist. The Isabella County sheriff's departmentMore >
Authorities say a 37-year-old man is dead after being hit by a pickup truck while stopped along the side of a mid-Michigan roadway to check on another motorist.More >
ObitMichigan.com is dedicated to delivering immediate, up-to-date information on obituaries 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to families and friends in Mid-Michigan. Death notices are displayed during theMore >
ObitMichigan.com is dedicated to delivering immediate, up-to-date information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to families and friends who have lost loved ones.More >
Tuesday, May 21 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-21 23:16:48 GMT
MOORE, OK - The Oklahoma County Sheriff's office tweeted a photo of a frightened, muddy dog Monday after the deadly EF-5 tornado ripped through the town.The comment accompanying the photo said, "scared,More >
A heartbreaking photo of a little dog guarding the body of his owner, who was killed in the Moore, OK, tornado, is going viral.More >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 6:21 PM EDT2013-05-22 22:21:12 GMT
(RNN) - British officials are saying one man is dead and two others were injured in a possible terrorist attack in London on Wednesday.According to BBC News, eyewitnesses said man was attacked in a streetMore >
One man is dead after two men attacked him in broad daylight with knives and meat cleavers. More >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 8:07 AM EDT2013-05-22 12:07:29 GMT
A man killed in a motorcycle crash over the weekend has been identified. The Saginaw News reports that 51-year-old Paul Neuman was operating the bike when it crashed on Tittabawassee Road near HackettMore >
A man killed in a motorcycle crash during the weekend has been identified.More >