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Father whose 9-year-old hiked for help after crash is identified

March 25, 2013|By Kate Mather

Coroner's officials Monday identified the 35-year-old father of a 9-year-old girl who hiked through difficult terrain to get help after their SUV crashed near Acton.

Alejandro Renteria, of North Hollywood, was driving south on Sierra Highway near Soledad Canyon Road when he lost control of his Ford Escape, coroner's and California Highway Patrol officials said.

The vehicle tumbled down an embankment, rolling "numerous times," the CHP said.

The girl managed to climb out of the SUV and make her way to a nearby home, but no one answered the door, CHP said. The girl then went back to check on her father, who was still unconscious, CHP Sgt. Tom Lackey told KABC-TV Channel 7.

She then took a different route, hiking up a "steep embankment in a very dark and threatening environment" to the roadway, where she eventually flagged down a passing motorist, CHP said.

Emergency workers arrived about 2:30 a.m., and pronounced Renteria dead at the scene, CHP said. The girl, whose name has not been released, was taken to Children's Hospital of Los Angeles with minor injuries.

Investigators believe alcohol was involved, though an investigation is ongoing.

Lackey described the girl's actions as courageous.

"She walked quite a distance in a very, very threatening environment. It's very black out here, very dark. It's very steep and it's brushy and there's also coyotes in the background," Lackey told KABC. "So for someone who is raised in a very urban environment, as opposed to a rural setting, that can be quite intimidating."

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Email: kate.mather@latimes.com

Twitter: @katemather | Google+

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