BEAVER ISLAND, Mich. (AP) — A pilot who was among four people who died after a plane crash on a Michigan island has been identified as a history teacher.
William Julian, 55, was flying the plane for Island Airways, which takes travelers between Beaver Island and Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula. Julian was airlifted Saturday to a hospital by the U.S. Coast Guard but died, the Charlevoix County sheriff’s office said.
During his 16 years in the Traverse City school district, Julian was a “devoted educator to the students he served,” East Middle School principal Marshall Perkins told families.
The others who died were Mike Perdue, Kate Leese and Adam Kendall. Perdue’s 11-year-old daughter survived, and her mother has said she believes her husband protected the girl from more serious injuries by holding her tightly as the plane went down.
“Ten miles (16 kilometers) out of the island, the pilot radioed in as is standard and everything was status quo, nothing bad reported. … Between then and the crash obviously something happened, and I’m not sure what that is yet,” Sheriff Charles Vondra told The Detroit News.
Federal authorities were investigating the crash. Beaver Island is in northern Lake Michigan between Michigan’s two peninsulas.