It was early Wednesday night just after midnight when Jessica Marie Rath, 26, was driving to Westport, Washington to pick up her husband from a fishing boat trip but according to the Oregon Herald, she reportedly didn't show up after crashing into a tree head-on which killed her leaving her two daughters in the wilderness by themselves.
The Washington State Patrol said the accident happened after their mother reportedly fell asleep at the wheel. Her daughter's Aryanna Rath, 4, and younger sister Lylah Huff, 2, stayed next to the wreckage for eight hours until someone finally found them around 8 a.m. Wednesday morning on State Highway 401 south of Naselle.
The vehicle, a 2007, Dodge Caliber four-door couldn't be seen from the highway until some passing motorists Kraai McClure and Scott Beautler stopped to investigate the damaged tree. What they found was that Rath had died behind the wheel and learned from the 4-year-old girl that she had pulled her 2-year-old sister out of the car saving her life.
Trooper Winger said both children then covered themselves with a blanket with temperatures in the the 40s overnight. Winger said the girls were first transported to an Astoria hospital, where their father met them. The 2-year-old who sustained more serious injuries was airlifted to a Portland hospital.
Beautler called the 4-year-old a hero. "We were just doing a deed," said McClure and Beautler. "She saved her sister's life."
Before the tragedy Rath's husband described himself as happy with his life and in love with his wife and kids on his Facebook page.
"I love my life my wife is the best and I love my new baby girl Lylah and I love the s**t out of my daughter Ary,' he wrote.
Video - Hero 4-year-old pulls little sister from wreckage after car crash kills their mother.