I’ve never been in a car crash (knock on wood) never mind a plane crash (knock on more wood). But if I was in a plane crash, was the sole survivor but had broken bones and hypothermia, I don’t know if I could do what 7-year old Sailor Gutzler managed to do after her father’s private plane crashed in Kentucky killing both her parents, her sister and a cousin.
I’m not sure how many adults would have been able to use the fire emanating from the plane as a guiding light, walk through nearly a mile worth of terrain both unfamiliar and rugged to safety. Yet somehow this little girl did it.
And thank goodness for the kindness of Larry Wilkins who provided comfort when she needed it the most.
I would not be surprised if Wilkins is invited to attend President Obama’s SOTU address later this month and acknowledged as the latest Lennie Skutnik. Sailor Gutzler might very well be invited along with him although that is probably not such a good idea. Her ordeal has only just begun. One moment she is among family, the next that family is gone. There’s no doubt she will receive a great deal of support in the months and years to come. But this trauma will remain with her for the rest of her life. Dealing with that trauma will take as much bravery as she exhibited after her father’s plane crashed.