Toddler Lone Survivor Of Mountain Crash
Three-year-old Kate Williams, described by rescuers as “an incredibly tough little girl,” was the lone survivor of the crash of a Cessna 172 that killed her grandfather and one of his business associates in the rugged mountains of British Columbia on Sunday. The girl was found hanging from the child car seat she’d been securely strapped into before the aircraft left Golden, B.C., on a trip to Edmonton, Alta. She was released from a Calgary hospital Tuesday after spending five hours in 30-degree weather in the wreckage. Her grandfather Allen Williams and his business associate Steve Sutton were killed in the crash, which occurred in bad weather shortly after takeoff from the Rocky Mountain town about 300 miles northeast of Vancouver. "When you think of what that poor little girl went through, watching the plane tumble through the woods and hanging upside down," rescue helicopter pilot Don McTighe, 51, told CanWest News Services Monday. "What an incredible, horrible scene."
The girl was conscious and asking for her teddy bear shortly after rescuers rappelled to the crash site on a riverbank in steep terrain just north of Golden. The aircraft took off about 1 p.m. and a passing aircraft reported an ELT signal about 20 minutes later. The girl was pulled from the wreck about 5:35 p.m., less than an hour before darkness fell. A Golden police spokesman said she was unharmed except for a slight mark on her face. Rescuers said it’s doubtful she would have survived the night in below-freezing temperatures, however. The crash was one of three in the past week in British Columbia and the fifth in less than a month.