Only one side of the girl’s body was injured, and the other was shielded by her father’s “huge, bear hugs.”
Inside a plane that crashed on Michigan’s Beaver Island, a devoted father covered his daughter in his last moments. Laney Perdue, an 11-year-old girl, is the sole survivor of the plane disaster that killed her father, Mike Perdue, and three other passengers.
Before the light-commuter jet attempted to land 32 miles away at the Welke Airport on Beaver Island, the father and daughter flew out of Charlevoix, Michigan. Laney’s final memory of her father is of him placing his arms around her while they were in the car accident.
Laney’s mother, Christie Perdue, told ABC News transportation correspondent Gio Benitez, “Her final memory is her dad just grabbed her and held her tight.”
Laney, the accident’s lone survivor, sustained minor injuries on one side of her body. The final “huge, bear hugs” she received from her father shielded the opposite side of her body.
After two procedures, the youngster was brought to the hospital with several fractures and is currently healing.
Her mother described her as “such a fighter.” “She has five fractured bones all over her body, yet she is incredible and inspirational.”
Mike had planned to meet Ryan Wojan, his Smith Realty Group co-owner, before going onto the flight. They planned to meet on Beaver Island on the first day of rifle deer season because they are both avid anglers and hunters.
Ryan had flown to Beaver Island on the same plane that had crashed three hours before Mike and Laney’s departure.
“He was always a giver… and was such an integral part of the community,” Ryan said of Mike to CNN.
Ryan stated of the father-of-unselfish four’s protection of his daughter during his final moments, ” “He took her in his arms and held her. Except for her daddy clutching her so hard, she has no recollection of anything.”
Mike’s wife “wanted to make sure that everyone knew who he was and how he gave his life for his daughter,” according to Ryan.
Kate Leese and Adam Kendall were also on the plane with the father and daughter. Kate and Adam boarded the plane with their pets for a trip to the veterinarian.
“Kate and Adam were made for each other,” Amanda Danielle Leese, Kate’s sister, remarked. “During the time they knew each other, they lived 20 lives. Kate was a force to be reckoned with. She desired to travel the globe. She was eager to try it. Adam was right there with her as she wanted to examine it.”
Kate and Adam, as well as their dogs, were tragically killed in the crash.
The plane’s pilot, who has yet to be identified, was also killed in the crash.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are currently looking into the reason for the disaster, which claimed the lives of four people and their pets.
The Perdue family has set up a GoFundMe campaign in the hopes of seeing Laney recover completely. “She’s a soldier and incredibly strong,” the page said. “There are a lot of broken bones and injuries, but the majority of them will recover on their own, which is another miracle!”
“Right now, the focus is on Laney’s recuperation, and the time frame is undetermined,” the fundraiser’s message stated.