An 11-year-old girl was the only survivor of a plane crash at Welke Airport on Michigan’s Beaver Island after Laney Perdue’s father “bear-hugged” her for protection as the plane went down. While she suffered critical injuries, she managed to escape with her life while her father, Mike Perdue, and the three other passengers sadly died.
The cause of the crash is still under investigation. The small twin-engine plane crashed on Saturday at just after 1:30 p.m. There, Laney and another man were found by a helicopter rescue team. Laney received chest compressions and was taken to a local hospital but the man unfortunately died before he could receive further medical help.
Laney remembered her dad holding onto her tightly. In a statement to ABC News, Laney’s mother Christina Perdue said that her daughter’s last memory before the crash was of her father hugging her for protection from the impact. “He gave the best bear hugs, and I believe he grabbed our daughter and protected her,” Christina said.
The little girl has a very long road to recovery. While she’s extremely lucky to still be alive, Laney “is making progress but has a long road to recovery,” according to family friend Dana Bensinger, who set up a GoFundMe for the family. “There are a lot of broken bones, but she’s a trooper and a fighter,” she told The Sun.
Laney’s mother is struggling to come to terms with everything. Not only is Christina struggling to help her daughter heal from devastating injuries, but she’s also having to cope with the loss of her husband. “Christie is an amazing Beaver Island native. She’s a gritty girl, but she’s devastated,” Bensinger said. “She’s been focusing on getting Laney healed and is touched by the love and support.”
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