Dad's Embrace May Have Saved Girl, the Sole Survivor of Plane Crash That Killed 4

A plane crash on Beaver Island, Michigan killed four people on Saturday, but the 11-year-old lone survivor of the crash was possibly saved by her father's embrace.

Laney Perdue, the 11-year-old who survived, was with her father and three others on the plane who did not survive. Laney remains hospitalized with five broken bones but did not have more serious injuries from the crash.

Christina Perdue, Laney's mother, said her late husband, Mike Perdue of Gaylord, held Laney tightly while the two-engine commuter plane crashed on the island in Lake Michigan.

"Laney told me in the hospital that her last memory is that dad just grabbed her and held her really, really tight, and in my heart I know that protected her," she said in an interview aired Tuesday on ABC's Good Morning America.

Because Laney's injuries were only on one side of her body, Christina said that she believes the embrace from her husband, who was known for his warm hugs, protected Laney from more serious injuries and could have been the reason she survived the plane crash.

"I believe that it would make sense to me that her injuries were on the one side, and the other side was with her dad, that he was holding her," Christina Perdue said, choking up.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:

Plane Crash
A plane crash on Beaver Island, Michigan killed four people on Saturday, but an 11-year-old survived the crash after being embraced by her father as the plane went down. An airplane comes in to land at Heathrow Airport as the sun sets on February 3 in London, England. Chris Jackson/Getty Images

After Laney was airlifted to Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids, Christie Perdue rushed there not knowing the extent of her daughter's injuries. She said she was relieved when she got to her bedside.

"She just said 'Hi, mom, hi mom,′ and so I just knew at that moment that that part was going to be OK," she said.

Christina Perdue said Laney "has a long road ahead of her" and remains hospitalized with five broken bones she suffered in Saturday's crash on the island in Lake Michigan.

Saturday's crash killed Perdue's husband, who was a real estate agent, as well as the pilot of the twin-engine plane and a couple who was planning to open a winery and vineyard on the island.

The plane was flying from Charlevoix to the island when it crashed, the Federal Aviation Administration said. The federal agency said it would take part in an investigation led by the National Transportation Safety Board.