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11-Year-Old Survived Plane Crash Thanks To Her Father's Final 'Bear Hug'

Photo: Logra / shutterstock
11-Year-Old Survived Plane Crash Thanks To Father's Final Hug

An 11-year-old girl, Laney Perdue is the sole survivor in a 5-people plane crash near Lake Michigan after reportedly being protected by her father during the plane's landing.

On Nov. 13, a twin-engine Britton-Norman airplane departed from Charlevoix and crashed while arriving at Welke airport near Beaver Island killing four people including Laney’s father, Mike Perdue — a realtor and a father of four.

The plane was in the process of landing when the crash occured.

The reason for Laney’s survival is her father, Mike. During the crash, Mike hugged Laney tightly trying to protect her — even in his last moments. 

Ryan Wojan, a friend of Mike's who worked alongside him says, "He cradled her in his arms. She doesn't remember anything, except for her daddy squeezing her so hard." 

Her father's hug may have saved her from the plane crash.    

Laney’s mother, Christina Perdue didn't know what to expect when she reached the hospital but was assured when she saw Laney.

She was heartbroken and states Mike hugging Laney was her last memory of her father.

"It's her last memory before the crash. We are heartbroken with the loss of my husband, a father, brother, son and friend. He gave the best bear hugs, and I believe he grabbed our daughter and protected her. Our prayers are also with our island community and the other souls lost in the accident." 

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The mother believes her husband’s embrace saved her daughter.

After the crash, Laney was rushed to a hospital in Grand Rapids where she was suffering from injuries and went through multiple surgeries. However, there were no injuries or wounds on the side her father hugged her.

Christina says “I believe that it would make sense to me that her injuries were on the one side, and the other side was with her dad, that he was holding her” and believes it’s her husband’s ‘bear hug’ that protected her daughter from worse conditions.

Laney is still in the hospital recovering but her injuries aren’t severe.

Wojan commended and recalled his friend, Mike saying "He was always a giver... and was such an important part of the community." and also mentioned how Christina "wanted to be sure that everyone knew who [Mike] was and how he gave his life for his daughter." 

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The crash killed four people.

Other than Mike, there were four people who didn't make it.

Kate Leese and Adam Kendall, and the pilot of the plane, William Julian tragically lost their lives. While Leese, Kendall and Laney's father, died immediately in the crash, Julian was rescued by the helicopter crew.

However, Julian died later in hospital. L

eese and Kendall were taking their two dogs to the vet, Frank and Baker — who also died in the crash. The couple were residents of Beaver Island who had recently moved there after years of travel and were planning to open a vineyard. 

A GoFundMe has been established for the family.

As this heartbreaking story of a father saving his daughter has come to light, many people send their prayers to the family and hope for a smooth recovery. In addition, friends of the Perdue family have stepped up and started a fundraiser for Laney on GoFundMe.

Many people have shown support by donating and as of now, the Purdue family have raised $122,138 with the goal of $150,000.  

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Sanika Nalgirkar, M.F.A. is a writer and an Editorial Intern at YourTango who writes on entertainment & news, lifestyle, and pop culture topics.