Maine State Police are crediting a little girl’s calmness under pressure for possibly saving the life of her mother after their car went off Route 1 in Westfield and slammed into a large tree Tuesday night.

The crash left 26-year-old Lili Parady of Fort Fairfield trapped inside the wreckage of her 2009 Toyota Camry. Firefighters from the Mars Hill Fire Department used hydraulic cutters to extricate Parady from the wreckage.

Police say her 8-year-old daughter’s quick thinking may have saved Parady’s life.

“She certainly is an exceptional young girl,” said Cpl. Chuck Michaud, who investigated the crash. “She didn’t panic and remained very calm under the circumstances.”

Michaud said the girl was able to squeeze her body through a partially jammed rear door and then walked to Route 1 where she waved down a motorist. The driver, who notified emergency responders, initially drove past the crash scene, but decided to turn around when she spotted the girl, Michaud said.

“A motorist reported being flagged down by a young child who reported that she and her mother were in a crash and her mother was injured,” state police said in a statement.

Michaud said there is little traffic on that stretch of road at 9 p.m., when the crash occurred.

“It’s a pitch black stretch of road. There’s just nothing there,” Michaud added.

Michaud said the girl was sitting in the rear passenger seat and was wearing a seat belt when her mother failed to negotiate a curve, drove off the road and struck a large tree just north of Route 1’s intersection with Miller Road. Parady was not wearing a seat belt, Michaud said.

The woman and girl, whose name is not being released, were taken to Aroostook Medical Center. Parady was flown by helicopter to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor for further treatment while her daughter was treated and released. The girl only suffered minor cuts and abrasions, and her grandparents are caring for her.

Parady was listed in critical condition Wednesday night by a spokeswoman for Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

[email protected]

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