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Ed W.
Republican KY 1

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  • Recognizing Ms. Sailor Gutzler

    by Representative Ed Whitfield

    Posted on 2015-01-26

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    WHITFIELD of kentucky in the house of representatives Monday, January 26, 2015 Mr. WHITFIELD. Mr. Speaker, I rise today on behalf of myself, and Representative John Shimkus, to recognize Ms. Sailor Gutzler. On January 2, 2015, a small Piper PA-34 plane carrying the family of Marty and Kimberly Gutzler crashed in the remote forest of Kuttawa, Kentucky, located in the First Congressional District of Kentucky. The family was headed back home to Nashville, Illinois, located in the Fifteenth Congressional District of Illinois, from a family vacation in Key West, Florida.

    Marty, Kimberly, their nine-year-old daughter Piper, and fourteen- year-old niece Sierra Wilder were instantly killed in the crash. Miraculously, the Gutzler's youngest daughter, seven-year-old Sailor, emerged from the wreckage alive and as the lone survivor. With a broken wrist, no shoes, and wearing only a T-shirt and shorts, the second grader bravely searched the cold, dark forest for nearly a mile until she found the only inhabited house in a 1,400 acre area.

    Young Sailor arrived at the home of Larry Wilkins, ``with lips trembling, crying, trying to talk'' according to Wilkins. This brave young girl, grief stricken and mangled, managed to point authorities in the direction of the crash, but is left without her parents, and with the trauma of this tragic event.

    This tragedy made national news, and Sailor was deemed the ``Miracle Girl'' by People Magazine. Sailor's strength and courage is truly remarkable, and we want to recognize her brave actions on that night and in the days following. Young Sailor has even noted that she has to be strong for her mom and dad, because they would want her to be strong.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with Sailor and her surviving family. It is truly a miracle this young girl survived and we are certain God has a purpose for her.


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