An 11-year old girl, who became the sole survivor of a tragic plane crash, was “bear-hugged by dad for protection as the flight went down.”

An 11-year old girl, who became the sole survivor of the tragic Beaver Island plane crash in the US, was “bear-hugged by dad for protection as the flight went down.”

Laney Perdue was on the aircraft with her father and three other adults when it crashed at the Welke Airport on Beaver Island on Saturday.

Laney was hospitalised in Grand Rapids, Michigan with critical injuries but is currently in a stable condition.

She was the only survivor. The four adults on-board – including the pilot – were killed. Their names haven’t been revealed.

A close family friend Dana Bensinger, who set up a GoFundMe for the Perdue family, told The Sun that Laney “is making progress but has a long road to recovery.”

“There are a lot of broken bones,” Bensinger said in an interview. “But she’s a trooper and a fighter.”

In a statement to ABC News, Laney’s mother Christina Perdue revealed that her daughter’s last memory before the crash was her father “bear-hugging her” for protection.

“He gave the best bear hugs, and I believe he grabbed our daughter and protected her,” she said in a statement.

That doesn’t come as a surprise to Bensinger, who described the beloved father as “a good American guy” who enjoyed baseball, hockey and trips to Beaver Island.

“He loved his family, faith and Beaver Island,” she said.

His wife Christina is has had grieve while focusing on “getting Laney healed,” Bensinger said.

“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.”


When the twin-engine Britten-Norman BN-2 crashed at 1.30pm on Saturday, a helicopter crew arrived on site to rescue Laney and a man, who were both found alive.

Laney was given chest compressions on the way to the hospital but the man was pronounced dead upon arrival.

The tragic crash killed Kate Leese, 35, and Adam Kendall, 37, a couple who were looking to open a winery on Beaver Island, according to Detroit News.

The couple had posted a video of a flight they took over Beaver Island just days before the tragedy.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and has been republished with permission