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An 11-year-old girl who was the only survivor of a plane crash that killed her father and three others managed to survive because she was 'bear-hugged' by her father as the plane went down for protection.
Laney Perdue was on the plane when it crashed at Welke Airport on Michigan's Beaver Island last Saturday.
Whilst she was still critically injured in the crash, she escaped with her life whilst the other four passengers - including her father Mike Perdue - were killed.
She remains in hospital but is in stable condition.
In a statement to ABC News, Laney's mum Christina Perdue said that her daughter's last memory before the crash was her father 'bear-hugging her' for protection from the impact.
She said: "He gave the best bear hugs, and I believe he grabbed our daughter and protected her."
A GoFundMe page has been set up for the Perdue family following their bereavement, and family friend Dana Bensinger - who has organised the effort - told The Sun that Laney 'is making progress but has a long road to recovery.'
She added: There are a lot of broken bones, but she's a trooper and a fighter."
Bensinger went on to describe Mike as 'a good American guy' who enjoyed travelling to Beaver Island, as well as sports such as baseball and hockey.
She continued: "He loved his family, faith and Beaver Island."
Now, her mother must grieve whilst also 'getting Laney healed'.
Bensinger said: "Christie is an amazing Beaver Island native. She's a gritty girl, but she's devastated,
"She's been focusing on getting Laney healed and is touched by the love and support."
The small twin-engine plane went down at around 1:30pm on Saturday, and a helicopter arrived at the scene to find Laney and another man, who was still alive.
Laney was given chest compressions whilst she was taken to hospital, but the man was pronounced dead on arrival.
The cause of the crash is still under investigation.
Also killed in the crash were husband and wife Kate Leese and Adam Kendall, who were 35 and 37 respectively.
According to Detroit News, the pair were looking into opening a winery on Beaver Island, which sits in Lake Michigan, the second largest of the USA's Great Lakes by volume.
The couple had shared a video of a flight that they'd taken over Beaver Island just days before the crash that claimed their lives.
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Topics: US News
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