It is not clear what caused the twin-engine Britten-Norman plane to crash, but the case is currently under investigation by the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on November 24, 2021. It has since been updated.
A 11-year-old girl who is the sole survivor of a plane crash that killed the other four passengers, including her dad, says she's alive only because her dad protected her. The small commuter plane crash occurred around 1:30 p.m. on November 13, 2021, at Welke Airport on Beaver Island in the far northern part of Lake Michigan just below the Upper Peninsula, Lt. William Church of the Charlevoix County, Michigan, Sheriff's Office told ABC News on Sunday.
"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 Perdue said of what her daughter, Laney, recalls of the crash. "Our prayers are also with our island community and the other souls lost in the accident."
"It's her last memory before the crash," Christina Perdue said in a statement of Laney, who was in stable condition on November 14, 2021, at a children's hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her husband, Mike Perdue, was a realtor from Gaylord, Michigan.
Four people died in a commuter plane crash on Lake Michigan’s Beaver Island on Saturday, but an 11-year-old girl survived, local media outlets reported. https://t.co/aOO0wo1IAL— KRMGtulsa (@KRMGtulsa) November 14, 2021
Church also identified a couple killed in the incident as Kate Leese and Adam Kendall, states 6ABC. The name of the pilot who died was being withheld by the sheriff's office, pending notification of relatives, Church added.
At the time of the accident, the girl, along with an adult male, was rescued by a helicopter crew from the Coast Guard Great Lakes, as they were training in the area at the time and responded to an emergency call from the island. They then flew the critically injured child and the male adult to McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital in Petoskey, Coast Guard officials said.
The helicopter crew members landed and offered assistance and were able to hoist and transport an 11-year-old-female and a male adult to McLaren Hospital in Petoskey, MI. Chest compressions were being conducted on the 11-year-old in route to the hospital.— USCG Great Lakes (@USCGGreatLakes) November 13, 2021
The girl underwent chest compressions on the helicopter on the way to the hospital, but the man was later pronounced dead at the hospital, a USCG spokesperson told CNN.
The last act of a dad who died in a Lake Michigan plane crash was to protect his 11-year-old daughter. The child was the sole survivor.https://t.co/ui8lLZaAeI— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) November 15, 2021
Two dogs also died in the crash, authorities said. It is not clear what caused the twin-engine Britten-Norman plane to crash, but the case is currently under investigation by the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board.
Cover Image Source (Representative): Getty Images