4-year-old twins called ‘heroic,’ make national news after fatal crash

Two 4-year-old girls are being heralded across the nation as heroes for climbing a steep, wooded embankment in the dark after a car crash on South Whidbey in an effort to get help for their father.

Tragically, 47-year-old Corey Simmons of Langley was killed in the Dec. 6 accident.

Trooper Heather Axtman, a spokesperson for the Washington State Patrol, said she’s been contacted by CNN, the New York Times, People magazine, Dateline and other national media organizations about the story.

“It just hits the heart a little hard,” Axtman said, explaining that this is one of those accidents that will stay with her forever.

Axtman explained that Simmons was driving west on Bob Galbreath Road just before 6 p.m. when the car left the roadway to the right.

The car went down an embankment and hit several trees before coming to a rest.

The twin girls were in booster seats and sustained minor injuries. They recognized that their father needed help, Axtman said.

The preschoolers unbuckled themselves and managed to climb up the embankment in the dark. The car had traveled about 100 feet down the embankment, about 20 feet of which was “very steep terrain,” she said.

Axtman said she was astonished that the girls were able to overcome their fear of the dark and the woods; as a mother, she’s learned that those are two things kids tend to be afraid of.

Miraculously, the twins got to the road just as a Good Samaritan was driving by and happened to look their way. Their focus was on getting help for their dad.

“I just find that so heroic and so brave,” Axtman said.

Deputies with the Island County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene and discovered the car down the embankment.

Simmons was not wearing a seat belt and was pronounced dead at the scene, the State Patrol reported.

Axtman said it’s unclear what caused the accident, but it’s under investigation by the State Patrol.

“There’s a lot we don’t know,” she said.

The girls were transported to WhidbeyHealth Medical Center, where they were reunited with their mother.

A GoFundMe campaign for the Corey Simmons funeral and family fund was created to help cover Simmons’ funeral expenses as well as other expenses the family may incur.

More in News

Clipper trips snipped

A beloved icon of Langley’s holiday season is no more. Mayor Tim… Continue reading

Treatment clinic to open Feb. 5

Access to a critical component of addiction recovery for Whidbey Island residents… Continue reading

Ex-county inmate sues over jail fall

An inmate at Clallam Bay Corrections Center is suing Island County over… Continue reading

Man sentenced for assaults, resisting arrest

A Clinton man who assaulted a woman and teenage girl and wrestled… Continue reading

‘Action’ planned at hospital

Last year was the hospital’s “year of listening,” according to CEO Ron… Continue reading

Photo provided
                                The Haller House is one of the historic properties that received a portion of the $1 million Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve preservation grant.
$1 million in state historic preservation grants awarded in Ebey’s Reserve

A $1-million grant from the state will go a long ways toward… Continue reading

Everybody counts

For as long as the Point in Time Count has existed, Clinton… Continue reading

Fuse lit on city fireworks ordinance

Langley Councilman Craig Cyr is fulfilling a campaign promise by trying to… Continue reading

‘One storm away from disaster?’

High tides and strong gusts are in the forecast for this weekend,… Continue reading

Most Read