By STEVEN DUBOIS, Associated Press
Updated 4:32 pm, Thursday, February 21, 2013
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — As their mother lay dead in the middle of the night, a 4-year-old Oregon girl dragged her seriously injured younger sister from a crashed car and the two huddled under a blanket — and waited.
With the mangled car stuck deep in the woods, and no skid marks on the highway, the crash site was nearly impossible to detect.
In fact, authorities estimate the sisters were alone in the frigid woods for several hours early Wednesday as many motorists drove past it.
The girls finally got help after two commercial fishermen spotted what appeared from a distance to be a basketball-sized gash in an alder tree along State Highway 401 between Astoria, Ore., and Naselle, Wash. Kraai McClure and Scott Beutler travel the two-lane road frequently, and had a gut feeling something was wrong.
The men slowed down, discussed the situation and decided to turn around and go take a look. McClure said he called 911 to see if there had been any reports of a wreck during the night. There weren’t.
Beutler, who was a first responder when he lived in Mississippi, went into the brush and signaled McClure to alert authorities.
“I don’t know exactly what told us to turn around, but I’m just really thankful we did,” McClure said Thursday.
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