Australian children survive 55 hours next to deceased parents in overturned SUV

Three young Australian children survived a horrific car accident that claimed the lives of their parents – then spent 55 harrowing hours in extreme heat before being rescued.

Parents Cindy Braddock, 25, and Jake Day, 28, were killed on Christmas Day when their Land Rover overturned on Corrigin-Kondinin Road, just a few miles from their home in Kondinin in Western Australia, a reported the local ABC.

The couple’s children – a 5-year-old girl, a 2-year-old boy and a 1-year-old boy – survived the horrific crash but had to endure 55 hours in the wreckage in 86-degree temperatures.

The heroic girl managed to unbuckle her one-year-old brother’s seat belt and free him from the car seat – which the family say likely saved his life.

Their 2-year-old brother remained strapped to his seat for more than two days after the sinking.

The family were reported missing after failing to make it to a Christmas celebration after leaving Northam, around 50 miles east of Perth, and returning home.

Cindy Braddock and Jake Day died after their car overturned a few miles from their home in Kondinin, Australia on Christmas Day.
Facebook/Cindy Braddock

A gas station attendant in Northam told ABC the family stopped to fill up and buy snacks before their misfortune began.

“He told me he was heading to Kondinin and it was a couple of hours away,” Nathan O’Donnell told the outlet, referring to Day.

“He looked exhausted…he didn’t buy any coffee. Then he left, I said to him: ‘Good luck for the long journey’. Unfortunately, he never succeeded,” the employee said.

When they never showed up, Cindy’s sister Helen Braddock posted a message on Facebook asking for help.

The couple's 5-year-old daughter, 2-year-old son and 1-year-old son were stuck in the crashed Land Rover in 86 degrees.
The couple’s 5-year-old daughter, 2-year-old son and 1-year-old son were stuck in the crashed Land Rover in 86 degrees.

“Has anyone seen Jake Day or Cindy Braddock since Christmas Day as they left Northam for Kondinin, but haven’t returned home and haven’t contacted anyone since”, she wrote.

When family friends finally found the wreckage, the children were suffering from extreme dehydration and were airlifted to Perth Children’s Hospital, where they are listed in stable condition.

Day’s cousin, Michael Read, told reporters the orphaned children were waiting for help in the stuffy vehicle next to their dead parents.

“It would have been difficult for all three kids to be in the car the whole time. No one knows what they went through,” he said, according to ABC.

“And if it hadn’t been for the 5-year-old who undid the buckle in the 1-year-old’s car seat, he wouldn’t be with us today,” Read said. . “But all the children are fine. They should be out in the next few days. »

The family was on their way to a Christmas party before they crashed.
The family was on their way to a Christmas party before they crashed.
Facebook/Cindy Braddock

Local politician Darren Pool said residents were reeling from the tragedy.

“Being so close to town and no one had noticed,” he said, the Guardian reported. “People have been passing by for a few days. This is probably the biggest shock for me.

Read wondered about the future of tragic children.

“It’s hard to have three kids now growing up with nobody – except other family members,” he told ABC. “We’re taking it little by little right now.”

He urged drivers to stop and rest if they feel tired behind the wheel.

“Know what your body limit is, don’t drive tired,” Read said. “If you want to be somewhere, spend the night with a family. It’s not worth the shot.”

A GoFundMe page raised nearly $73,000 for the family.

“Devastatingly, Jake and Cindy did not survive the crash, but an angel watched the children as it was a miracle their beautiful babies survived for over two days in outback Australia before dying. ‘to be rescued,’ wrote organizers Casey Guyer and Kailee Wallace.

“The children are currently hospitalized with their families and are all doing well considering the circumstances,” they added.

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