7-year-old girl only survivor of Kentucky plane crash that killed four 

Posted at 7:09 AM, Jan 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-03 07:11:59-05

(CNN) — A small plane went down in western Kentucky Friday evening, killing four people, according to Sgt. Dean Patterson with the Kentucky State Police.

A 7-year-old girl was the only survivor. She was taken to a local hospital with “non-life threatening injuries,” Patterson said.

A resident in the area called 911 after the girl walked up to his house, telling him she had been in a plane crash.

“FAA air traffic controllers lost contact with a Piper PA-34 aircraft … shortly after the pilot reported engine problems, and told air traffic controllers that he was diverting to the Kentucky Dam State Airport,” said FAA Communications Manager Kathleen Bergen.

The twin-engine aircraft, which can seat up to six people, was found in Lyon County, about 30 miles east of Paducah, and less than 10 miles from the airport.

Early Saturday, the Kentucky State Police identified the dead as Marty, 49, Kimberly, 45, and 9-year-old Piper Gutzler — a husband, wife and their daughter. Also killed was 14-year-old Sierra Wilder, a cousin. All were from Nashville, Illinois. The name of the surviving girl was withheld at the request of the family.

The Kentucky State Police say the plane was en route to Mount Vernon, Illinois, from Key West, Florida.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating and are expected to arrive at the scene on Saturday.