N.C. Girl Survives for Two Days in Crashed Car

PHOTO: 9-year-old Jordan Landon survived for two days pinned under a car by her seatbelt.
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Jordan Landon, 9, is lucky to be alive.

For two days, the girl lay pinned by a seatbelt, trapped in a mangled car, flipped upside down, after a crash that killed her father, 39-year old Douglass Landon.

Police say the two likely crashed late Friday night, on their way home from a stop at a nearby convenience store in rural Craven County, N.C. Video surveillance from the store captured Landon hugging her father just minutes before their accident.

When the two did not arrive home, Jordan's mother, Claudette Leohmann, embarked on her own search on Saturday, but fell short after she crashed her own car less than 100 feet away from the accident site.

"I'm sure Jordan could hear the sirens and everything, and hear the police talking on the radio," Butch Morse, a friend of the family, told ABC News. "And she was sitting right there."

It was not until Sunday evening that a man walking along the road spotted the overturned 1995 Chevrolet Monte Carlo where Jordan laid alive in a ditch and called police. When rescuers arrived, they believed both father and daughter were dead, then Jordan made a sound and they realized she had survived. It took three fire and rescue teams over an hour to cut her out of the car.

Jordan told police she survived on pop tarts and Gatorade, occasionally crying out for help when she could muster the strength, but no one heard her screams.

"For a 9-year-old to do that it's pretty heroic. She was able to keep herself calm. The family member next to her is obviously deceased so that's a lot to deal with, plus being dark at night," said Sgt. David Clifton of the North Carolina Highway Patrol.

Investigators recovered the speedometer, stuck at 110 mph, and say speed was a factor in the crash. They do not believe alcohol was involved.

Jordan, who Clifton described as "very talkative" after rescuers were able to free her from the car, told her mother she does not remember her father speeding before the crash.

"I asked Jordan, 'Was Daddy driving fast?,'" Leohmann told ABC. "She said, 'No mommy, daddy wasn't driving fast.'"

During her two days trapped in the car, Jordan also had to endure bitter cold; overnight temperatures in the area fell below 30 degrees.

"She did have a coat so she was able to keep herself warm as best she could but it's still pretty traumatic for a 9-year old to go through," said Clifton.

Jordan suffered only non-life threatening injuries and is expected to make a full recovery.

ABC Affiliate WCTI contributed to this report.

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