People fear flying because of the worst-case scenario, despite air travel, by statistics, being one of the safest ways to travel across long distances.

The fact is, if a car gets in trouble, the driver still maintains control and can try to the right situation. The same is true for any driven vehicle.

Even trains are designed to save as much as possible behind the engine in case of a derailment.

But if a plane encounters a big problem mid-flight? It can’t just slow down or quickly land. It turns into a tragedy.

When a plane crashes, there is a wrong assumption that it includes no survivors.

Once in a while, miraculously, someone will walk away from such a horrific incident.

An unfortunate plane crash nearly claimed the lives of an entire Michigan family, but thanks to quick thinking and solid parental instinct, the young daughter managed to survive.

Though she walked out of one wreck into another, a life colored by the trauma of her survival and the loss of her father, there is a silver lining to the dark cloud of her story.


10 /10 Laney Perdue

The sole survivor of the terrible crash was Laney Perdu, an 11-year-old girl, daughter of Mike and Christina Perdue, who lived in Michigan.

Her family recently moved to Beaver Island, where the plane crashed, situated about 20 minutes by flight from the northern tip of southern Michigan.


9 /10 Mike Perdue

Mike was a father of four, with Laney being the oldest. He worked as a realtor out of Gaylord, Michigan.

He and his family had many friends who all mourned his loss as they somberly celebrated his daughter’s survival.

Laney’s last memory before the crash happened was her dad shielding her and protecting her from the impact, which is likely what saved her life at the cost of his own.

Beaver Island Fire Department

8 /10 The Flight

The plane took off from a twin-engine Britten-Norman BN2P commuter plane used for small passenger flights to and from the mainland.

It left Charlevoix earlier in the day and was set to land at Beaver Island at around 1:30, but something occurred which made it come down too fast and too hard.

The FAA and National Transportation Board are still investigating the cause of the crash.


7 /10 Emergency Signal

At the time, the United States Coast Guard was conducting training flights in the area when they received an emergency locator transmitter alert from the plane crash, making them the first to be informed and among the first on the scene.

The Coast Guard managed to recover Laney and one other individual from the wreck. The other man died, but Laney was kept alive thanks to emergency medical care on-site, including chest compressions.

Helicopter crews were brought in to assist in transporting Laney to the McLaren Hospital in Petoskey, Michigan.

6 /10 Long Road Ahead

Laney survived, just barely, with many injuries. Many of her bones were broken from the impact, and she was placed in emergency care.

Fortunately, of all the injuries she sustained, none of them are beyond her ability to heal. She is expected to make a complete, eventual, physical recovery.

What she lost that was much more important than her bones or body parts was her father, who was declared dead at the scene.


5 /10 The Victims

The commuter plane only held four passengers and one pilot.

The passengers were Laney and her dad and two other adults: Kate Leese and Adam Kendall.

Kate and Adam were a couple who recently moved to Beaver Island to restore an old farmhouse and were planning to open a winery, according to Detroit News, who interviewed them just earlier that month.

Also on board were two dogs, who also did not survive the crash.

4 /10 Friends In Mourning

Mike left behind a lot of friends as well as family. One Dana Bensinger recounted the last time she managed to speak to him.

It was at Laney’s basketball game the previous weekend, where Dana’s daughter also participated.

Mike was there with his whole family to cheer Laney on. Now, Dana has offered her cheers and prayers for Laney’s recovery, which she claims is a miracle.

3 /10 Community Spirit

Beaver Island residents have rallied around Laney to help her recovery with positive support as much as possible.

Laney is staying strong and knows that she has a lot of healing to do, but is being supported by letters sent in by concerned people not just from her home in Michigan but all over to give her encouragement.

Laney’s mother, Christina, has stayed close by her daughter’s side to support her recovery. /

2 /10 Fundraiser

Dana Bensinger took it upon herself to organize a GoFundMe public fundraiser to help cover the costs of Mike’s funeral and other very costly things tied to Laney’s recovery.

She set it up with a goal of $100,000, which it has since succeeded and eclipsed, going over $150,000.

1 /10 Quiet Island Life

The appeal of living on Beaver Island was its removal from the regular urban noise and light pollution.

It attracted Kate and Adam to settle there and why Mike worked out of a different county but kept his family close on the island.

It fostered a calm and peaceful community. That peace was temporarily shattered following the crash, and now the quiet is all that’s left.

Everyone involved hopes that Laney recovers and can begin restoring her own quiet life in her father’s absence.

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