In the final moments of his life, a loving father shielded his daughter inside a plane that crashed on Michigan’s Beaver Island. The 11-year-old girl, Laney, is the only one who survived the plane crash that killed her father along with three other victims. The 11-year-old girl, the lone survivor of the crash, came out of the incident with injuries only on one side of her body. The other side of her body was protected by the last of the big, bear hugs she received from her father.
The father, Mike Perdue, and his daughter attempted to land about 32 miles away at the Welke Airport on Beaver Island. The very last memory Laney has of her father is of him wrapping his arms around her during the crash.
“Her last memory is her dad just grabbed her and held her really, really tight,” Laney’s mother, Christie Perdue said.
Laney, the lone survivor of the crash, came out of the incident with injuries only on one side of her body. The other side of her body was protected by the last of the “big, bear hugs” she received from her father.
The child was rushed to the hospital with several fractures and is currently recovering after two surgeries.
She “is such a trouper,” her mother said. “She has five broken bones all over the place, but she is amazing and she’s inspiring.”
Before stepping onto the plan, Mike had plans of meeting Ryan Wojan, his co-owner of Smith Realty Group. The two of them, being avid fishermen and hunters, decided to meet on Beaver Island for the opening day of firearm deer season.
Ryan had traveled to Beaver Island on the very same plane that crashed just three hours before Mike and Laney set out on their journey.
As Ryan spoke about Mike, he said, “He was always a giver… and was such an important part of the community.”
Speaking of how the father-of-four selflessly protected his daughter during his final moments, Ryan said, “He cradled her in his arms. She doesn’t remember anything, except for her daddy squeezing her so hard.”
Ryan added that Mike’s wife “wanted to be sure that everyone knew who he was and how he gave his life for his daughter.”
Also on the plane, traveling with the father and daughter, were Kate Leese and Adam Kendall. Kate and Adam were traveling with their dogs on the plane for a visit to the vet.
“Kate and Adam were meant for each other,” said Kate’s sister, Amanda Danielle Leese. “They lived 20 lives in the time they knew each other. Kate was larger than life. She wanted to experience the world. She wanted to taste it. She wanted to explore it and Adam was right there with her.”
Unfortunately, both Kate and Adam lost their lives in the crash along with their dogs. The plane’s unidentified pilot was also killed in the devastating crash. At the moment, the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are still investigating the cause of the crash that claimed the lives of four victims and the pet dogs.
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