A 9-year-old girl crawled out of a mangled sport utility vehicle, climbed out of a canyon and walked about a mile in the middle of the night to find help after surviving a highway crash that killed her father in Southern California, authorities said.

acton, calif.

The 2010 Ford Escape was launched about 60 metres down an embankment along a semi-rural stretch of highway about 1 a.m. Sunday, said the California Highway Patrol. The vehicle overturned several times.

The girl managed to extricate herself and walk through rugged terrain to a nearby home, but nobody answered the door, the CHP said. Then she hiked up the steep embankment and along the road to a commuter rail station where she flagged down a passing motorist at about 2:30 a.m.

"She walked quite a distance in a very, very threatening environment. It's very black out there, very dark," CHP Sgt. Tom Lackey told KABC-TV. "It's very steep and it's brushy and there's also coyotes in the background."

Responding officers found a man in his 30s had been killed. His name was not released but officials said he was from Los Angeles.

A helicopter transported the girl to Children's Hospital Los Angeles. She was treated for minor injuries including bumps and bruises and a cut on her face.

Television footage showed crews extricating the severely damaged black SUV from the canyon.

The girl reportedly told authorities she and her father were on their way home from a party when he lost control of the SUV on curvy roads.

The CHP is investigating whether alcohol played a role in the crash.