Girls, ages 2 and 4, survive cold night after crash kills mom - WSMV News 4

Girls, ages 2 and 4, survive cold night after crash kills mom

Posted: Updated: Feb 20, 2013 07:43 PM
Photo: Washington State Patrol Photo: Washington State Patrol
Photo: Washington State Patrol Photo: Washington State Patrol
NASELLE, WA (KPTV) -

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.

  • Recent HeadlinesMore>>

  • Murfreesboro groups spread messages of love ahead of planned white supremacy rally

    Murfreesboro groups spread messages of love ahead of planned white supremacy rally

    Saturday, October 21 2017 11:01 PM EDT2017-10-22 03:01:05 GMT

    One week from today, League of the South -- a white supremacy group -- plans a White Lives Matter rally in downtown Murfreesboro. Several counter protests are in the works. Local faith based groups and community organizers say they want to promote a positive message of love and inclusion. 

    More >>

    One week from today, League of the South -- a white supremacy group -- plans a White Lives Matter rally in downtown Murfreesboro. Several counter protests are in the works. Local faith based groups and community organizers say they want to promote a positive message of love and inclusion. 

    More >>
  • Rep. Jim Cooper talks legislation to help DEA fight against opioids

    Rep. Jim Cooper talks legislation to help DEA fight against opioids

    Saturday, October 21 2017 10:50 PM EDT2017-10-22 02:50:24 GMT

    Tennessee lawmaker speaks about his crusade to give law enforcement the power it needs in its fight against drugs. Congressman Jim Cooper is trying to right the wrong of legislation. The DEA claims prevents them from freezing, and red flagging large shipments of opioids.

    More >>

    Tennessee lawmaker speaks about his crusade to give law enforcement the power it needs in its fight against drugs. Congressman Jim Cooper is trying to right the wrong of legislation. The DEA claims prevents them from freezing, and red flagging large shipments of opioids.

    More >>
  • Multiple people wounded during shooting at Edgehill Homes

    Multiple people wounded during shooting at Edgehill Homes

    Saturday, October 21 2017 9:23 PM EDT2017-10-22 01:23:05 GMT
    (WSMV)(WSMV)

    Police responded to a shooting at the Edgehill Homes apartment complex near 12 Ave South around 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Four male teens were non-critically injured after exchanging gunfire with other individuals in a car. It is unknown at this time how many people were in the car, and if any were injured.

    More >>

    Police responded to a shooting at the Edgehill Homes apartment complex near 12 Ave South around 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Four male teens were non-critically injured after exchanging gunfire with other individuals in a car. It is unknown at this time how many people were in the car, and if any were injured.

    More >>
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Police: Son shoots, kills mom’s friend for flirting with imaginary girlfriend

    Police: Son shoots, kills mom’s friend for flirting with imaginary girlfriend

    Thursday, October 19 2017 12:49 PM EDT2017-10-19 16:49:32 GMT
    (Photo: Pasco County Sheriff's Office)(Photo: Pasco County Sheriff's Office)

    New body cam footage has been released which shows the moments after a Florida man shot and killed his mother’s friend for flirting with his imaginary girlfriend.

    More >>

    New body cam footage has been released which shows the moments after a Florida man shot and killed his mother’s friend for flirting with his imaginary girlfriend.

    More >>
  • Thong jeans are just the latest weird fashion trend

    Thong jeans are just the latest weird fashion trend

    Friday, October 20 2017 11:27 PM EDT2017-10-21 03:27:11 GMT
    A model display creation of "thibaut" by Japanese designer Meiko Ban during the 2018 Spring/Summer Collection at the Tokyo Fashion Week in Tokyo, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)A model display creation of "thibaut" by Japanese designer Meiko Ban during the 2018 Spring/Summer Collection at the Tokyo Fashion Week in Tokyo, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

    Thong jeans. (Theans? Jongs? Thonjeangs?) Whatever you decided to call them, they’re weird and the internet is going crazy.

    More >>

    Thong jeans. (Theans? Jongs? Thonjeangs?) Whatever you decided to call them, they’re weird and the internet is going crazy.

    More >>
  • Chicago freezer death was a 'sad' accident, police chief says

    Chicago freezer death was a 'sad' accident, police chief says

    Saturday, October 21 2017 8:12 AM EDT2017-10-21 12:12:40 GMT

    Authorities have closed the investigation into the death of a young Chicago woman whose body was found in a hotel's walk-in freezer, saying it was accidental and there was no reason to suspect foul play.

    More >>

    Authorities have closed the investigation into the death of a young Chicago woman whose body was found in a hotel's walk-in freezer, saying it was accidental and there was no reason to suspect foul play.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly
WSMV
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, WSMV; Nashville, TN. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.