Local News

6-year-old girl saves brother after fiery crash

Posted May 28, 2008

— The parents of a 6-year-old girl say her quick thinking saved the life of her little brother.

The girl was traveling in a GMC Yukon when another vehicle hit it Saturday. It happened on Highway 210 in Angier.

"It was on fire,” daughter Alexis Pencola said Wednesday.

The SUV caught fire immediately after being struck.

"All I thought about was the truck was going to explode. The trooper told me that doesn't happen, only in movies, but that's what you think about,” mother Chrystal Pencola said.

The Highway Patrol said the Yukon slid about 83 feet before stopping.

"I couldn't get my seatbelt off, the door wouldn't open and my kids were in the back,” Chrystal Pencola said.

So it was up to Alexis, 6, to get her 3-year-old brother, Tyler, out of the vehicle. The airbags had deployed and the automatic locks had shut down.

"I unlocked his seatbelt and I unlocked mine and I unlocked my door and everything,” Alexis Pencola said.

"She could have just gotten out and ran from being scared. She could have locked up and not even been able to get the door open or even get her seatbelt off, but she didn't,” Chrystal Pencola said. "We are blessed. We are very blessed that none of us were hurt or killed."

The driver of the vehicle that hit the Pencola family was charged with failure to yield.


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  • dddecks May 30, 2008

    Thank you all for your wonderful comments about my daughter. She truely is amazing. I was frantic, but she stayed calm. It was very hard to get to the locks or door handle because of the airbags. I can not believe how amazing she is to have figured it all out, then reached over for her brother before getting out. Not to mention, she did this all within a matter of seconds while the truck was on fire. She is MY ANGEL.

  • educgrad May 29, 2008

    What a brave,smart girl!

  • Tarheel born May 29, 2008

    This should be the no. 1 story for GOLO. Great job!!!!

  • momof2girls May 29, 2008

    Way to go, Alexis! Your parents must be very proud. I have 2 children and would be very proud of such heroic efforts!! Good job parents for raising such a responsible little girl!

  • wnithepooh May 29, 2008

    Way to go Alexis!!! If I was your Mom I would tell you EVERY day how proud I am of you!!! You are an angel to your brother! What a great story to share. I am glad everyone is fine after the accident. You are a super hero!

  • prayin4tr May 29, 2008

    Good job Alexis. Most adults would have panicked in this situation. I know I would have. Great job looking out for your little brother! You're just awesome and cute as a button.

  • Imagine 722 May 29, 2008

    What a great little hero!!!! Keep up the good work. The driver that didn't yield is obviously very responsible, he or she shouldn't just get charged for something little. What if they were killed? They deserve to get much time in jail to think about what they did, so it doesn't happen again!

  • bdaniels May 29, 2008

    Good job Alexis! Keep doing good works!

  • something2say May 29, 2008

    Slow news day or not, I love these kinds of stories. WRAL keep the positive things coming.

    Way to go Alexis!!

  • Adelinthe May 29, 2008

    Thanking God all are safe and that angels come in all sizes. ;o)

    God bless.

    Rev. RB