Two sisters escaped from a car that went into a lake in western Michigan and then shivered for hours in soggy coats and bare feet before finally finding help, authorities said.
Their 52-year-old father, who was driving the car, was dead when divers located the vehicle Sunday in Lake Macatawa, the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office said.
The girls, ages 8 and 10, escaped through the rear of the car, got to shore and were alone overnight for hours before finding someone nearby at a home in Park Township. Many properties around the lake are vacant in the winter.
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The air temperature was in the low 30s.
“I just saw a little face,” Kevin MacLeod said, telling MLive/The Grand Rapids Press how he responded to a knock at his door. “I just figured they were in trouble.”
The girls had stayed on someone’s porch and waited for daylight, sheriff’s Lt. Eric Westveer said.
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“They said they just huddled together through the night and kept each other warm until they were able to find a residence that had people in it,” Westveer said.
The girls were taken to a hospital for observation. The crash remains under investigation.
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“They’re probably not going be good for a while,” MacLeod said. “They lost their dad last night. That’s tough at any age.”