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Girl, 4, drags injured 2-year-old sister to safety after crash

The girl wrapped her sister in a blanket to keep warm overnight after their mother was killed in the accident

The Associated Press

NASELLE, Wash. — Passing motorists who stopped to investigate a damaged tree in southwest Washington found two young Oregon girls injured in a car crash that killed their mother, authorities say.

The Washington State Patrol estimates the car driven by 26-year-old Jessica Marie Rath of Astoria, Ore., hit the tree sometime early Wednesday morning.

The crashed vehicle wasn't visible from State Highway 401 south of Naselle.

The 4-year-old girl apparently pulled her more seriously injured 2-year-old sister from the car and covered both of them with a blanket, Trooper Russ Winger said. The overnight temperature was in the low 40s.

Kraai McClure and Scott Beautler were driving by the spot when they stopped to check out the gashed tree trunk, they told KING-TV. They found the woman dead and the little girls huddled in the cold and rain.

Beautler called the 4-year-old a hero.

"We were just doing a deed," he told KING. "She saved her sister's life."

The girls were taken first to an Astoria hospital, where their father met them. The 2-year-old was airlifted to a Portland hospital, Winger said.

Associated PressCopyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

The mother had driven Tuesday night to the Hoquiam, Wash., area to pick up her fisherman husband but then headed south when she found out her husband's boat was headed elsewhere, the trooper said.

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Teresa Cramer Teresa Cramer Thursday, February 21, 2013 12:53:39 PM So brave.
William Davis William Davis Thursday, February 21, 2013 1:29:48 PM Hug your children and wife often. Life is fleeting at best. What a tearful story of a brave little lady.
Jennifer Wilson-Stoner Jennifer Wilson-Stoner Thursday, February 21, 2013 2:17:50 PM Definite hero!
Carrie Mochon Whiteman Carrie Mochon Whiteman Thursday, February 21, 2013 6:11:49 PM This makes my heart sink. How beautiful love is . Their mother was was with them hugging her babies as an angel. :(
Kasandra Brackley Kasandra Brackley Thursday, February 21, 2013 6:50:20 PM Amazing! She is definitely a hero!
Scott Beutler Scott Beutler Thursday, February 21, 2013 7:46:31 PM To have the mind set after a tragic accident like that to pull her sister from the wreck and also cover them. She saved her sisters and her own life. Most adults would have been so dazed and paniced that would have never crossed their minds. Its just awesome
Tonya Schultz Tonya Schultz Friday, February 22, 2013 9:43:02 AM That 4 year old girl was so amazing to take car eof herself and her sister until help arrived, but I'm so thankful you and your friend found them when you did!!
Sara Kenworthy Sara Kenworthy Friday, February 22, 2013 10:03:43 AM Good job saving those little girls! Without you it still could have turned out differently.
Dennis Marx Dennis Marx Friday, February 22, 2013 5:12:26 PM Absolutely amazing!
Jeanne Howard Porter Eddy Jeanne Howard Porter Eddy Friday, February 22, 2013 8:10:50 PM You are amazing, and an inspiration to all who read this story. Those little girls survived because of you. Thank you.
Lindsay Blickhahn Lindsay Blickhahn Sunday, February 24, 2013 10:09:26 PM I do not know you but this story is amazing, and thank you for being so aware!!! I have two little girls too, and this is so sad, but I am so glad you and your friend were paying attention.

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