Jordan Landon and her 39-year-old father Douglass were heading home from a trip to a mini-mart on Friday when he apparently lost control and crashed into a ditch.
A passerby spotted the overturned 1995 Chevrolet Monte Carlo in a ditch and called police Sunday evening.
Investigators say Landon survived by eating Pop Tarts and drinking Gatorade.
"For a 9-year-old to do that it's pretty heroic," said Sgt. David Clifton from North Carolina Highway Patrol. "She was able to keep herself calm. The family member next to her is obviously deceased so that's a lot to deal with, plus being dark at night."
Investigators say temperatures plunged into the 30s at night.
"She did have a coat so she was able to keep herself warm as best she could but it's still pretty traumatic for a 9-year-old to go through," said Clifton.
They say she was very relieved and talkative when rescuers freed her from the car.
Investigators recovered the speedometer, stuck at 110 mph, and say speed was a factor in the crash. They do not believe alcohol was involved.
ABC News contributed to this story.