updated 1/27/2004 7:07:03 PM ET 2004-01-28T00:07:03

A 3-year-old girl survived five days alone in a car after an accident that killed her mother, authorities said.

Angel Emery was airlifted Monday to Maricopa Medical Center, where she was being treated for dehydration and severe frostbite on her feet. She was listed Tuesday in good condition.

“The only thing she could share with us is that she had been eating crackers and that’s how she was able to survive these long days out in the elements,” said Sgt. Frank Valenzuela, a spokesman for the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

Cause of accident unknown
Authorities said Angel’s 44-year-old mother, Patricia Marie Emery-Wade, died in the wreck, which apparently happened the afternoon of Jan. 21 on U.S. 60 in the east-central part of the state. Officials were trying to determine whether rain or snow had been a factor.

The woman’s car hit a tree about 40 feet off the highway and 20 feet down an embankment, making it nearly impossible to see from the roadway.

A passer-by finally saw the smashed car Monday morning and alerted authorities, who found the girl inside, wrapped in a blanket and cuddled next to her dead mother.

Authorities initially said they believed Angel got out of her car seat to get under the blanket, but on Tuesday said she was probably lying in the seat behind her mother at the time of the accident.

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