Girl, 5, praised as a hero after horror crash kills parents: 'MIRACLE'

A little girl who’s parents perished in a tragic Christmas day car crash has been hailed a hero for saving her baby brother’s life.

The five-year-old and her two brothers, aged two and one, spent 55 hours trapped inside the wreckage of their family’s 4WD after it rolled off the road in Western Australia’s Wheatbelt region.

Their mum Cindy Braddock, 25, and dad Jake Day, 28, were killed in the accident in Kondinin in the early hours of Sunday morning. The family had been at a Christmas Eve party in Northam and had left at around 1am to make the 200 kilometre journey back home. They were just minutes from their Corrigin-Kondinin Road property when tragedy struck.

Cindy Braddock, 25, and Jake Day, 28, holding a baby girl (left) and the couple (right).
Cindy Braddock, 25, and Jake Day, 28, died when their 4WD rolled off the road and into an embankment just kilometres from their home in Kondinin. Source: Facebook

However it wasn’t until Tuesday that the three children were discovered by a family member still inside the upside down Land Rover Discovery, which had rolled down an embankment, suffering severe dehydration but alive.

“What I’ve gathered is the five-year-old became unstuck in the vehicle and she then got the one-year-old out of the car seat, then they were stuck in the car for 55 hours in 30C heat,” Mr Day’s cousin, Michael Read, told reporters outside the hospital where the children are being treated.

“If it wasn’t for the five-year-old undoing the buckle of the one-year-old’s car seat, he wouldn’t be with us today. She’ll probably not know for a few years.”

The three children (left) and the little girl and toddler (right).
Friends say it was a 'miracle' that the couple's three children, a five-year-old girl and two boys, aged one and two, survived. Source: Facebook

While previous reports stated that the children had managed to free themselves from the wreckage, Mr Read confirmed that “all three kids were trapped inside the car until family members arrived on the crash scene”.

He went on to say that it “would have been hard for the three children to be in the car for that whole time”.

“Nobody knows what they went through,” he said, before adding that the children “are doing fine” and should be out of hospital within the next couple of days.

A relative found the family's 4WD with all three children still trapped inside 55 hours after the crash. Source: Seven News
A relative found the family's 4WD with all three children still trapped inside 55 hours after the crash. Source: Seven News

$36K raised for orphaned children

A GoFundMe page has since been set up to raise funds for three orphaned children.

“Devastatingly Jake and Cindy did not survive the accident but an angel was looking over the kids as it was a miracle their beautiful babies survived for over two days in [the] Australian outback before being rescued,” the organisers, Casey Guyer and Kailee Wallace, wrote online.

The young family sitting on decorative Christmas trees.
The young family was pictured celebrating Christmas just weeks before the tragedy. Source: Facebook

“All funds raised will help the family of Jake and Cindy with the costs of funerals and the remaining will go to the children to help with any medical and life expenses.”

Since the fundraiser was launched on Wednesday, more than $36,800 has been donated with a target of $50,000.

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