HIXTON, Wis. (AP) -- A toddler wandered across a freeway and was found sitting at a fence hours after a semitrailer truck skidded and smashed into her family's car, killing both her parents.
The Wisconsin State Patrol said the westbound truck slid on some ice, jackknifed and crossed the median of Interstate 94 north of Hixton in Jackson County about 4:15 a.m. Friday.
The car going the opposite direction slid under the trailer, finally coming to rest about 500 feet away. Both adults in the car, from Brooklyn Park, Minn., were killed.
But troopers noticed children's clothing in the car and started searching for a child.
They spotted small footprints leading across the freeway to a grove of trees where they found the 2-year-old girl, Anita Kayachith, sitting by a fence some three hours after the crash.
She was taken to a Black River Falls hospital but escaped serious injury.
"She has just a scratch on her head, but nothing big," said Sandy Kayachith, her aunt, when reached by telephone Sunday night in Brooklyn Park, where the family was caring for the girl.
She said her brother, Laotian-born Souvorachak Kayachith, 21, and his wife, Melinda Athakhanh, 20, died in the crash.
But she credited their spirits for helping to guide the girl out of the wreckage and to a safe place where she could be found.
"I think my brother was just holding on and then helped her out," she said. "I think their spirit guided her and protected her, and that's why she lasted so long."
The family had been on the way to Atlanta for a wedding when the accident happened, KSTP-TV in St. Paul, Minn., reported.
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