39-year-old Douglass Landon was last seen alive late Friday night on surveillance video making a purchase at a convenience store near his home in Craven County, North Carolina.
Then he and his 9-year-old daughter Jordan, who was waiting in the car, disappeared.
It wasn’t until Sunday night when a man walking down the road spotted their overturned car in a ditch, that the two were found. Rescuers initially thought both Jordan and her dad were dead and then the little girl made a noise. It took crews more than an hour to cut her from the mangled wreckage.
Turns out, for two days the little girl lay pinned upside down in her seatbelt, trapped in the car in freezing temperatures after a crash killed her father. She survived on Gatorade and Pop Tarts. She tells police she occasionally screamed for help but no one could hear her.
Police call her a hero.
“For a 9-year-old to do that it’s pretty heroic. She was able to keep herself calm. The family member next to her is obviously deceased so that’s a lot to deal with, plus being dark at night,” said Sgt. David Clifton of the North Carolina Highway Patrol.
Clifton said Jordan suffered non-life threatening injuries and is expected to make a full recovery.
Investigators say the car’s speedometer, stuck at 110 mph, and believe Douglass Landon was speeding but that alcohol was not involved. 110 miles an hour at night on a rural road with your kid in the car? So, so stupid. But what a brave little girl.
See ABC’s report below: