An 11-year-old girl who survived a plane crash in Michigan that killed four people — including her dad, who shielded her before impact – is reportedly recovering from several broken bones.
Laney Perdue suffered serious injuries Saturday when the twin-engine Britten-Norman commuter plane took off from Charlevoix on Michigan’s lower peninsula and went down at about 1:30 p.m. at an airport on Lake Michigan’s Beaver Island, officials said.
On Monday, she was listed in fair condition at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, longtime family friend Dana Bensinger told WZZM 13.
“It’s a really special, special place,” Bensinger said about Beaver Island, adding that Christina’s dad, Mike Perdue, “loved the islands.”
The girl’s mom, Christina Perdue, told ABC News that the father shielded their daughter while the Island Airways plane was going down.
“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,” Christina told the outlet about the realtor from Gaylord, Michigan.
“It’s her last memory before the crash,” she added.
Bensinger recalled meeting the family right before the crash.
“My daughter and her played basketball together Saturday morning. Mike and Christie and their two boys and daughter Addy were all at the game,” she told WZZM. “Great, great game on Saturday. I was really proud of her.”
Bensinger added: “It’s a tragedy with a miracle. Seeing Laney, I—it was a miracle. It is a miracle. She continues to be a miracle.”
Two other victims have been identified as Beaver island couple Kate Leese, 35, a biochemist, and Adam Kendall, 37, an attorney.
They were featured in a Detroit News article a few days earlier talking about their dreams of opening a winery and tasting room as they grew a vineyard of red and white grapes.
“Almost immediately after we pulled into the marina here, we knew this was the level of quiet we were looking for,” Kendall, an attorney, told the paper. “At night, there’s almost complete silence here. There’s no light pollution. You can hear every car (if one goes by). It’s the kind of place we had been looking for as our next spot.”
The name of the dead pilot has not been released.
The accident is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.