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UPDATE: Acton crash survivor listed in good condition

Child’s father died in Acton crash; she struggled to get him help in the darkness

Posted: March 25, 2013 12:52 p.m.
Updated: March 25, 2013 12:52 p.m.

Alejandro Renteria

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A 9-year-old girl who survived a vehicle crash that killed her father in Acton is expected to be released from the hospital Tuesday, a California Highway Patrol official said Monday.

“The last I heard was that she should be released from hospital tomorrow,” CHP Officer Gil Hernandez said Monday.
Celia Renteria of North Hollywood was in good condition at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, a hospital spokeswoman said Monday.

She is recovering from a harrowing ordeal early Sunday in which she crawled from the wreckage of her family’s SUV, climbed 200 feet from the bottom of a ravine, hiked in the dark across rugged, sagebrush-dotted terrain to get help and, finally, flagged down a passing motorist, an Antelope Valley California Highway Patrol officer wrote in a report on the crash.

The girl’s father, Alejandro Renteria, 35, of North Hollywood, died as a result of injuries suffered in the crash, Antelope Valley CHP Officer D. Helfrich reported.

The father was driving southbound on Sierra Highway in a 2010 Ford Escape SUV at an unknown speed when the vehicle left the roadway north of Soledad Canyon Road, around 2 a.m., Helfrich said in the report.

The vehicle plunged down a dirt embankment out of control and rolled over numerous times, he said.

Alcohol was suspected to have played a role in the crash, according to the CHP report.

Celia Renteria climbed through a window and began her search for help in the darkness.

“She hiked through difficult terrain to a nearby home, but no one answered the door,” Helfrich said. “She hiked up a steep embankment in a very dark and threatening environment. She was finally successful in flagging down a passing motorist.”

On Monday, reporters, some representing national TV networks, gathered outside the hospital for comments from the girl’s family, according to hospital spokeswoman Lindsay Hutchison. The family cut off public commenting around noon, she said.

The CHP investigation, meanwhile, is continuing, Hernandez said Monday.

“This brave child had the courage to go searching for help for her dad,” he said. “And, she was determined to get help for him.”

“The (CHP) officer could detect the odor of alcohol at the scene,” Hernandez said. “But, we can’t confirm whether or not (Renteria) was intoxicated until we get the coroner’s toxicology results.”
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt





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