Who Will Care For 7-Year-Old Plane Crash Survivor?
Who will take care of little Sailor Gutzler?
That's the big question hanging over America’s bravest little girl. She is the sole survivor of a plane crash that claimed the lives of her mom, dad, sister, and 14-year-old cousin.
INSIDE EDITION has learned that Sailor is being cared for, at least temporarily, by her paternal grandparents as she recovers from an ordeal that no seven-year-old should endure.
After the crash, Sailor found herself upside down in the wreckage in the deep woods of rural Kentucky in near freezing temperatures. Dressed in just shorts, a T-shirt with no shoes, and just one sock, she began the treacherous trek through the pitch black woods to find help.
The terrain was very difficult with thick briers with sharp thorns and the ground underfoot, and a minefield of branches.
A reporter walked in the same woods at night and said, "It is very thick, there are a lot of fallen branches. I can't imagine being seven-years-old trying to get through this."
Sailor spotted a porch light in the distance and made her way towards it. It was the home of retiree Larry Wilkins.
He told INSIDE EDITION, "The little girl was very upset, her little lips were trembling. She was crying, not like you would expect a seven-year-old to cry under those circumstances. Bravest kid I have ever seen in my life."
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He called 911 and said, “There's a seven-year-old female, little girl, who has just come to the door and said her parents were killed in a plane crash.”
The grieving little girl cuddled up to Wilkins' two dogs Pete and Bonnie while waiting for an ambulance. Her wrist was broken and she was all scratched up.
Sailor's father, Marty Gutzler, was an experienced pilot. He was flying his family from vacation in Key West, Florida, and reported engine trouble shortly before the plane went down.
How did Sailor survive while everyone else on board perished? She was seated in the last row of the six-seater plane.
INSIDE EDITION spoke to Captain Rick Dake of Aero Consulting Experts, who said, "She could have been protected by luggage. She could have been protected by other people. Very good luck for her where she was sitting."
Sailor's dad had taught his children survival skills. She even tried to light a stick from the burning wreckage to make a torch, but that didn't work.
Now, a shower of love has descended on this little girl from across America. Her favorite T-shirt says, “You Can't Stop Me." More truer words have never been spoken.