Father "gave his life for his daughter" by cradling her in plane crash that killed him and 3 others

Father "gave his life for his daughter" by cradling her in plane crash that killed him and 3 others

The girl had injuries only on one side of her body while her other side was protected by her dad's "big, bear hugs."

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 Perdue, is the only one who survived the plane crash that killed her father, Mike Perdue, along with three other victims.

The father and daughter departed from Charlevoix, Michigan, before the light-commuter plane 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 told ABC News transportation correspondent Gio Benitez.

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 told CNN, "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.

Source: GoFundMe

A GoFundMe page was set up for the Perdue family as they hope to see Laney make a full recovery. "She is being a trooper and so strong," the page said. "There are many broken bones and injuries but most of them are ones that are going to heal on their own, another miracle!"

The message on the fundraiser added, "Right now the focus is healing for Laney and the time frame is unknown."

Cover image source: GoFundMe

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