"If it wasn't for the five-year-old undoing the buckle of the one-year-old's car seat, he wouldn't be with us today," a relative said.
In life, we mostly depend on logic. Now and then, instances happen that make us believe in miracles again. This happened recently to three children who survived alone in a car for over two days after their parents were killed in a crash early Christmas Day in Western Australia. A 5-year-old girl and her two younger brothers, 1 and 2 years old, were found in a remote area by their family member on Tuesday. The parents—Cindy Braddock, 25, and Jake Day, 28—were found dead inside their vehicle, which had rolled off the roadway, PEOPLE reported quoting other news outlets.
Michael Read, a relative of the victims, told 9News, the young children were stuck in the car for 55 hours as temperatures reached 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit). Read also credited the 5-year-old girl with saving her 1-year-old brother's life shortly after the crash in Kondinin. "If it wasn't for the five-year-old undoing the buckle of the one-year-old's car seat, he wouldn't be with us today," added Read.
According to ABC reports, the family was last seen by relatives at 1 a.m. on Christmas morning as they began a two-hour drive home from Northam. Nathan O'Donnell, a gas station worker in Northam, told ABC that the family stopped by the business shortly after 1 a.m. on Sunday. The man said the family "looked very exhausted" as they prepared for what they said was a couple hours' drive. "They then got out, put fuel in, then they came in, they went to the toilet, they came and bought drinks and snacks and stuff for the road," he added.
As per The Guardian, Police said the family's Land Rover rolled off Corrigin-Kondinin Road on Sunday morning and it was currently unclear what had caused the crash. All three children were trapped inside the vehicle until they were found on Tuesday, Read said, according to ABC. The 2-year-old boy, he noted, was still strapped in. The three, who were dehydrated when found, were transported to Perth Children's Hospital for treatment, ABC and The Guardian reported.
Flowers have been left at the crash site where Wheatbelt parents Cindy Braddock and Jake Day lost their lives. Their 3 children who were stranded by the highway for two days are recovering in hospital. @10NewsFirstPER #Kondinin #FatalCrash pic.twitter.com/Np6DRXIYOY— Anne-Maree Leonard (@a_m_leonard) December 28, 2022
Read told reporters that the children are "doing fine" and should be released "within the next couple of days." The wreckage from Sunday's crash was found several meters off Corrigin-Kondinin Road in an area known as the Wheatbelt, per the reports. According to ABC, local leaders Darren Pool and Bruce Browning are surprised that the children went unnoticed on the side of the road for days. "It's amazing the amount of traffic that would've gone past and not seen them," said Pool, the Kondinin publican.
Kondinin crash kids discharged from hospital days after rollover which killed parents Cindy Braddock and Jake Day https://t.co/1243Y6TMP2— Billie-jo Drage (@drage_billie) January 2, 2023
Officials have also expressed concerns about the road conditions where the family was traveling. Shire president Kent Mouritz said local roads, especially in the Wheatbelt, are "dangerous" and declining in quality," ABC reported. "Everywhere in the Wheatbelt, roads are broken up," he said, per the outlet, adding, "the increased heavy traffic on the roads, due to the non-use of rail lines, has created a dangerous situation." However, Mouritz did not indicate that road conditions were directly to blame for Tuesday's crash.
A GoFundMe campaign has been started to support Braddock and Day's family with funeral costs and any living expenses for their children. "Devastatingly, Jake and Cindy did not survive the accident, but an angel was looking over the kids," the fundraiser says, calling it "a miracle" that the children survived.
Cover Image Source: GoFundMe