Fashion model and blogger Lauren Scruggs, 23, is responsive and making a slow recovery after suffering severe injuries to her face, shoulder and left hand caused by accidentally walking into a small airplane propeller.
ABC News reports that the Scruggs' parents, Cheryl and Jeff, do not hold the pilot, Kurt Richmond, accountable for the accident.
It was a really horrible accident, Jeff Scruggs said on Good Morning America Tuesday. I've been told she got out of the plane afterwards. And I'm guessing she went up to thank the pilot. She would have been grateful for him taking her up to see the Christmas lights around Dallas.
ABC News Aviation Consultant John Nance, however, thinks the pilot may have been at fault. He claims that pilots would never allow passengers near, in or out of a small plane with the engine and propeller still running.
The pilot of a bird like an Aviat Husky is going to in almost all cases shut the engine down completely and have the propeller stop, which happens almost immediately as soon as you shut it down, Nance told ABC News. Because we know the danger of having a human being anywhere close to a twirling prop.
Nance also told ABC News that it was possible that Lauren did not know she was close to the spinning propeller when it sliced the left side of her face and shoulder, because engines on small planes makes significantly more noise than the propeller.
It is highly probable that Lauren was coming back and the pilot did not know that she was in the vicinity ... it would be one of your worst nightmares to see somebody looming up out of the darkness towards a propeller that's running, Nance said.
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident, but investigators remain unsure of how Scruggs could have walked into the plane propeller.
Scruggs had been returning from a flight to see the Christmas lights across her state when she climbed out of the two-seater plane at Aero County Airport in McKinney, Texas late Saturday. The 23-year old accidentally walked directly into the small plane's propeller and the blade sliced the left side of her face and shoulder and severed her left hand. She was immediately taken by Care flight helicopter to Parkland Hospital in Dallas.
Following multiple surgeries over the weekend, Scruggs' face and shoulder have been reconstructed, but surgeons were forced to amputate her hand. Although she is in stable condition, Scruggs remains in the intensive care unit and doctors are still unsure of how the hit affected her brain function and whether or not she will lose an eye.
They're telling us it's going to be a long recovery, Jeff Scruggs told GMA. Obviously she's had a lot of trauma to her head, and she lost her left hand and her left eye is questionable. We're praying she'll regain her sight.
Scruggs is the Editor-in-Chief for an online fashion magazine, Lolo Magazine. She has worked as a part-time model and in the wardrobe department of the CW television Show, Gossip Girl. She recently interviewed Twilight star Kellan Lutz for New York Fashion Week.
Related Article: Model Lauren Scruggs, 23, Walks into Plane Propeller, Loses Hand