A 5-year-old girl saved her baby brother’s life after a car crash killed their parents, leaving three young children trapped in the wreckage for more than two days in a remote part of rural Western Australia, CNN affiliate Nine News reported.
In a statement, Western Australia Police said the family’s Land Rover Discovery was found Tuesday morning in Kondinin, about 280 kilometers (174 miles) east of the state capital Perth.
Parents Cindy Braddock, 25, and Jake Day, 28, were declared dead at the scene, police said.
Their three children survived the accident, but were left trapped in the vehicle with their dead parents in searing temperatures until being discovered by a concerned family member.
The family of five – including the girl and her two brothers, ages 2 and 1 – had been reported missing a day earlier when they didn’t make it to a Christmas Day celebration, Nine News reported.
Relative Michael Read told Nine News the 5-year-old girl saved her youngest brother’s life by freeing him from his child seat.
“If it wasn’t for the 5-year-old undoing the buckle of the 1-year-old’s car seat, he wouldn’t be with us today,” Read said. “She’ll probably not know for a few years.”
Their ordeal was worsened by high temperatures, Read said.
“Basically they were stuck in the car for the 55 hours in 30-degree (Celsius – about 86 Fahrenheit) heat,” he told Nine News. “Nobody knows what they went through.”
The children were taken to hospital with severe dehydration, police said.
They survived with non-life threatening injuries and are expected to be discharged from hospital in the coming days, Nine News reported.