The pilot of the airplane that injured Lauren Scruggs says he warned her about the spinning propeller, physically guided her away from it and thought she was safe until he heard cries, according to a new investigative report.
The unidentified pilot, who is said to be Curt Richmond of Frisco, Texas, says he “leaned out of his seat and placed his right hand and arm in front of her to divert her away from the front of the airplane and the propeller,” according to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Administration.
“He continued to keep his arm extended and told the passenger that she should walk behind the airplane,” the report says.
When he thought she was safe, the pilot “returned to his normal seat position,” only to soon hear someone shout “Stop, Stop.” He then shut down the engine and saw the fashion blogger lying in front of the plane, says the report, which was obtained by ABC News.
Scruggs, 23, lost her left hand and left eye following the Dec. 3 accident, and has had to relearn basic functions – although she is said to be making remarkable progress.
On Jan. 11, Scruggs had her “first meeting with the prosthetic arm people,” her mother, Cheryl Scruggs, wrote on Lauren’s Caring Bridge site. After the 3.5 hour meeting, “we all came out speechless and exhausted, but also encouraged and hopeful,” adds Cheryl.
Scruggs’s family reportedly do not blame the pilot for the accident, although some aviation experts have questioned why the propeller was still running as a passenger was exiting the plane.
Following many updates from her mother, Scruggs herself spoke about the incident for the first time a week ago, posting a note to her blog thanking fans for their “loving hearts and sweet spirits.”
Although she did not address the NTSA report, mother Cheryl Sruggs wrote about Lauren on the Caring Bridge site. “She’s not going to let this steal her Joy. She’s determined and confident. It’s hard … but she sees it all through the eyes of the King.”
Donations can be made to the Lauren Scruggs Hope Fund on the Lolo Magazine website.