The family's car fell into a lake in Michigan: the father died, and two girls miraculously survived after spending the whole night in the cold
Two sisters from Michigan, aged 8 and 10, in wet clothes survived the cold night huddled together as their father's car sank into the lake. The edition told in more detail USA Today.
The accident occurred around 02:00 on Sunday, January 22, on Lake Makatawa.
The girls, in order to keep warm at night, clung to each other and sat like this for about seven hours on the porch of one of the empty houses. In the morning they knocked on the door of the house where there were people.
The children were cured of hypothermia and discharged from the hospital.
About 12 hours after the car was submerged, authorities found it completely submerged in the lake. Inside was the body of the girls' father, 52-year-old John Dowler.
The police tend to consider the accident an accident, and speeding could have been the cause.
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“We believe that the father became disoriented because he was not familiar with the area. As a result, he ended up in the water only because of the way the road is arranged there, ”Lt. Eric Westvir from the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office clarified the situation.
Asking for help after an accident
Kevin Macleod was at home with his wife around 09:00 on January 22 when he heard a knock on the door.
The couple lives in an area with several empty houses, and most of the nearby houses are empty cottages or summer cottages.
“I go out on the porch and see the face of a little girl,” Macleod said.
He opened the door and saw that there was a little girl trembling from the cold. She was in a wet coat, in one shoe.
The girl explained that she was in the car with her father and sister when the car somehow ended up in the lake.
Macleod made sure the second child got home as well. His wife called 911 and the girls were able to relay the information to the authorities.
He said there was a light snow cover on the ground, and records show the temperature dropped to 32 degrees (0 Celsius) that night.
The couple gave them fresh socks, blankets and other items to keep warm once they were safely inside.
How the girls were saved
Westvir explained that the girls and their father were returning home after visiting a family friend when the accident occurred.
“The sisters said they fell asleep and were awakened by the sound of the crash and then hit the water,” said the lieutenant from the sheriff’s office.
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“According to them, the rear hatch has opened,” said Westvir. “We don't yet know how this rear hatch opened because it doesn't have a lever like a normal side door does. But the children stated that the rear hatch opened and they were able to crawl out of it, and then swam to the shore.
He speculated that it might have been "divine intervention" or perhaps their father pressed a button to open the door and free them.
After the accident on the portal GoFundMe a page was created to support the family. As of the morning of January 27, over $15 had been raised.
Macleod didn't hesitate for a second whether to help or not.
“I hope that anyone who faced cold and trembling children on the doorstep in the morning would have done the same,” he explained.
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