Local News

6-year-old girl saves brother after fiery crash

Posted May 28, 2008 10:27 p.m. EDT
Updated May 28, 2008 11:39 p.m. EDT

— 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.