- Pilot Curt Richmond said he tried to stop the 23-year-old from walking in front of the plane
By Michael Zennie
Last updated at 6:37 AM on 18th January 2012
The pilot of the plane that severely injured Lauren Scruggs said he tried to warn her before she walked into the propeller, costing the model her left hand and her left eye.
Curt Richmond revealed to air safety officials that he put his arm up and yelled at the 23-year-old as she tried to walk in front of the plane December 3 at Aero County Airport in McKinney, Texas.
Mr Richmond, who has not spoken publicly about the accident, said the plane’s engine was still running and he told the young woman to walk behind the plane and out of harm’s way.
Warning: Curt Richmond, the pilot right,, said he tried to warn Lauren, left
Debut: Lauren Scruggs made her first debut outside her Texas hospital this week after mistakenly walking into a spinning propeller early last December
Mr Richmond put down his arm and turned away from Lauren when he thought she had turned to walk away from the spinning propeller, according to a report from the National Transportation Safety Board.
But it’s unclear whether Lauren heard his warning over the roar of the engine.
Moments later, someone on the ground screamed ‘Stop! Stop!’ and Mr Richmond saw Lauren laying on the tarmac. He immediately cut the engine.
Investigators say she walked into the whirling propeller blades on the front of the plane after a 30-minute plane ride to look at Christmas lights from the sky.
Statement: Mr Richmond has not spoken publicly about the accident but revealed the story to investigators
Lauren had been riding in an Aviat A1-B Husky (like the one pictured) when the accident occurred
Mr Richmond had left the engine running while new passengers filed into the small plane as he prepared another trip to the skies.
The NTSB did not find fault with the pilot for the accident but at least one aviation expert said Mr Richmond is ultimately responsible.
‘The bottom line is, he should have shut the engine down,’ air safety investigator Denny Kelly told MSNBC.com.
‘The bottom line is, he made a mistake.’
Website: Lauren is thought to have written a heart-felt message of gratitude on her Lolo website
Lauren, who has been recovering in hospital since the accident, wrote on the LoLo magazine website for the first time earlier this month.
She said: ‘I don’t know how to thank each one of you, properly, for so much love during this difficult incident in my life. My heart is so grateful beyond what I could ever imagine.
‘So thank you dearly for the sweet encouragements, the precious words in letters and messages, the beautiful grace in pretty presents, but mostly I am so so thankful for you and your loving hearts and sweet spirits.’
Lauren, a communications graduate who is known to her friends as Lo, had just gotten off of the plane after viewing Christmas lights from above Dallas when the tragedy struck.
She has been in intense rehabilitation ever since.
Her Twitter account is also active again but it is not clear whether or not it is Lauren herself writing the posts, though family spokeswoman Janne Harrell told ABC that the 23-year-old has had her iPhone out frequently during hospital visits.
The post was signed, ‘love, lo’.
The model made her first trip outside the hospital last week, taking a break from her four-and-a-half weeks of intense rehab.
Her mother, who has updated her daughter’s progress on the CaringBridge account wrote of their visit to whole Foods: ‘Wehad many complete strangers stop us, with tears in their eyes, saying they have been praying for Lo and for our family.’
Appreciation: Lauren’s mother (far right) has been routinely blogging on her daughter’s recovery which includes continuous thanks by their entire family for her recovery
She recently posted that her daughter is adjusting to her new life and that simple tasks such as ‘typing an email’ are heightened.
‘Many have told us how the accident has them seriously thinking about how important God needs to be in theirlives, or how it has helped them refocus where they have gotten off track in their spiritual walk,’ mrs Scruggs wrote.
Inaddition to losing her hand and eye to the two-seater plane at a Dallasairport on December 3, Ms Scruggs suffered from brain injuries and scaring to half of her face.
Doctors removed her left eye on December 15 and since then she has been in intensive therapy to relearn how to walk, talk, use a stationary bike and even dress herself.
Friends, family and members of the community have so far raised $10,000 to help with her medical bills.
A list: Lauren Scruggs (right) attends a fashion party in New York with actress Chloe Sevigny (centre) and a friend
Most recently Ms Scruggs’ twin sister Brittany Morgan reported feeling her sister’s pain, literally in her own left eye.
‘Beingtwins, and having a bond that most never understand, Britt’s left eye has been twitching for the last 4-5 days every 30 seconds or so,’ their mother wrote late last month.
‘She knows it’s because of the deep connection she and Lo have, and God allowing her to go through this withher at the ‘twin’ level.’
In the build up to the holiday, her mother reported her daughter/stylist and fashion blogger’s further strides in her recovery.
She managed to cook scrambled eggs, dress herself, brush her teeth and her hair and take a shower without help, her mother wrote on the webpage.
‘Lo is making remarkable strides!’ her mother, mrs Scruggs, wrote.
‘Her spirit is incredible. She’s positive, hungry and cheery! Her appetite is very healthy, even though she is still taking lots of pain medication.’
KINGS POINT, N.Y. — Dozens of people were hospitalized late Sunday after a carbon monoxide leak at a U.S. Merchant Marine Academy east of New York City.
Newsday reported that authorities responded to reports of a “positive rating” for carbon monoxide shortly before 10 p.m. Sunday.
It said that at least 42 people were transported to area hospitals. Citing police, Newsday reported that leak was linked to a water heater.
A Nassau County police spokeswoman told The Associated Press early Monday that no one is seriously ill and that officials have wrapped up their investigation. she said the leak was in the Academy’s Barry Hall.
The Merchant Marine Academy prepares students for careers in the maritime industry. its 82-acre campus is on Long Island, about 20 miles east of New York City.
The Associated Press and msnbc.com staff contributed to this report.