Father, daughter in Pennsylvania plane crash found alive huddled for warmth in wooded area

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A father and daughter were found alive in the woods in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, after their small plane crashed Sunday night.

Pennsylvania State Police say the 58-year-old father, who was piloting, and his 13-year-old daughter survived the crash. Search crews spent nearly five hours looking for the plane reported down around 8:30 p.m. in Bear Creek Township, according to a press release. 

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The plane went down about a half-mile into the woods between Bald Mountain Road and Suscon Road. Investigation details revealed the plane had departed the Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport and went missing on radar after a rapid descent, but it was hard to get a specific location.

The United States Air Force assisted with the search. Members were able to ping the dad’s phone and the girl’s iPad, which led them directly to the crash site, WNEP-TV reported.

Emergency crews found them huddled together for warmth. Both were in what police called a pre-hypothermic state.

“The daughter saves both of them by using her iPad and her dad was cuddling the daughter to give her warmth because they were both exposed to the elements and were suffering from hypothermia at the time,” Pennsylvania State Police Sgt. John said.

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He added in his 28 years of service he has never seen a plane crash of this type end this way. He called it a miracle. 

“They were very scared at first. Dad was extremely scared, when I first approached thinking there was an animal or something approaching his daughter,” said Sgt. Richards. “We explained who we were that we were there to help. And immediately they start talking to us and were cooperative the whole way. They helped us every which way they could.”

Both were taken to a hospital.  It is not clear where they were headed before the plane went down.

The FAA is looking into the cause of the crash.

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