A preliminary NTSB report on the propeller accident that left 23-year-old model Lauren Scruggs seriously injured offers new details into the turn of events leading up to the accident.
According to the report, the pilot of the Aviat Husky carrying Scruggs left the propeller running as he opened the right door of the aircraft for her to deplane after landing at Aero Country Airport in McKinney, Texas, on the night of Dec. 3.
The pilot told the NTSB that he leaned out of his seat and placed his right arm in front of her to divert her away from the prop after seeing her exit the aircraft in front of the strut. He reportedly told her she should exit by walking behind the aircraft, but dropped his arm when he believed she was no longer walking within reach of the prop.
The pilot then turned his attention to the left side of the aircraft and asked who was going to be his next passenger when he heard someone yell “Stop, stop!” upon which he shut down the engine and saw Scruggs lying near the front of the airplane.
Scruggs’ parents have said they believe their daughter may have been returning to thank the pilot, who was a family friend, for the flight one final time when she walked into the moving propeller.
Scruggs sustained serious injuries in the accident, including the loss of her left hand and eye. Her family continues to blog about her recover at caringbridge.org.