A professional model from Texas recently lost a hand in an accident at an airport when she walked into a moving propeller after deplaning a small airplane at night.
She was up and walking around after only a few days in the hospital with the help of a physical therapist.
The model and fashion blogger, 23-year-old Lauren Scruggs, suffered head, shoulder and brain injuries in addition to losing her left hand. She had gone up in the small, two-seat plane to view holiday light displays around Dallas from the air. Her family speculated that she was trying to return to the plane to thank the pilot when she unknowingly walked into the spinning propeller. Scruggs is the founder of LOLO Magazine and LOLOmag.com.
Small-engine airplane pilots are saying it is rare to let a passenger out of the plane with an open propeller until the engine is cut off and the prop has come to a stop. The plane, an Aviat Husky, has an engine that is far louder than the propeller and it might have been difficult to know in the dark that the loud noise was the engine and not the prop, according to ABC News.
The pilot of the plane is a friend of the Scruggs family and Lauren’s parents have said they have no plans to take legal action against him. But passenger safety is generally regarded to be the responsibility of the pilot – even on the tarmac.
The Federal Aviation Administration is looking into the incident. There is no word whether the engine was running when Scruggs was hit or whether the propeller was powering down. Some pilots have speculated that since it did not kill her, it might have been powering down. It is rare to survive such a catastrophic event.
In many catastrophic injury cases blame can be difficult to place on anyone but the person who was injured. It has been speculated that in this case the pilot may be at fault since the propeller was still running when Scruggs left the plane.
The plane’s propeller struck Scruggs on her left side, fracturing her skull and her collarbone. She was able to open and use her right eye within days of the accident, but her left eye was still bandaged. Doctors said the left eye would be their next focus after they amputated her left hand. Scruggs damaged the globe of her left eye, but doctors were able to repair it in surgery.