(CRAVEN COUNTY, N.C.) -- Jordan Landon, nine, is lucky to be alive. For two days, the girl lay pinned by a seatbelt, trapped in a mangled car, flipped upside down, after a crash that killed her father, 39-year old Douglass Landon.
Police say the two likely crashed late Friday night, on their way home from a stop at a nearby convenience store in rural Craven County, N.C. Jordan told police she survived on pop tarts and Gatorade, occasionally crying out for help when she could muster the strength, but no one heard her screams.
Finally, on Sunday evening, a man walking along the road spotted the overturned 1995 Chevrolet Monte Carlo in a ditch and called police. When rescuers arrived, they believed both father and daughter were dead, until Jordan made a sound and they realized she had survived. It took three fire and rescue teams over an hour to cut her out of the car.
"For a 9-year-old to do that it's pretty heroic. She was able to keep herself calm. The family member next to her is obviously deceased so that's a lot to deal with, plus being dark at night," said Sgt. David Clifton of the North Carolina Highway Patrol.
And there was the cold; overnight temperatures in the area fell below 30 degrees. "She did have a coat so she was able to keep herself warm as best she could but it's still pretty traumatic for a 9-year old to go through," said Clifton.
Clifton said Jordan was very talkative after rescuers were able to free her from the car, explaining her survival strategy. She suffered non-life-threatening injuries and is expected to make a full recovery.
Investigators recovered the speedometer, stuck at 110 mph, and say speed was a factor in the crash. They do not believe alcohol was involved.
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