Woman Loses Arm After She’s Struck by Plane Propeller in Florida: Reports

By Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts is a news writer for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States, world, and business news.
October 15, 2019Updated: October 15, 2019

A Florida woman lost her arm on Saturday when she was struck by the propeller of a private plane, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said.

The unnamed female was reportedly getting off the plane at Key West International Airport at 8:45 p.m. on Oct. 12 when the incident occurred.

A statement issued by police said the woman and the pilot were preparing to take off from the runway when the aircraft began to suffer unknown mechanical issues and would not move.

In an attempt to figure out the mechanical issue, the pilot exited the airplane while it was running to see if was still chalked—if the blocks placed by the airplane tires when it is stationary on the tarmac were still in place.

According to the statement, the woman also exited the aircraft and walked to the front of the plane where she was inadvertently struck by the propeller.

Her arm was subsequently severed by the propeller and she was transported to Lower Keys Medical Center on Stock Island by Key West Fire Department crew.

She was later airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center in Miami and is said to be in a stable condition, according to the statement.

Although the identity of the woman is yet to be confirmed, the Miami Herald named her as Rebecca Lynn Gray, 45, of Fort Myers.

The publication claims her husband, Walter Gray, 46, witnessed the incident and was also the pilot of the single-propeller Cessna 172S, which was a rental out of Fort Myers.

According to the report, Gray had told his wife to stay in the plane while he checked for mechanical issues, but she got out and walked in front of it.

The Florida Highway Patrol is now handling the investigation.

Student in Critical Condition After Being Struck on Head by Propeller

A Polish man was left in a critical condition after a “freak accident” at the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics (PIA) in March 2019, WFMJ reported.

Zachary Norris, 20, had been working on a stationary aircraft motor alongside fellow student, Cody W. Keller, 28, when he was struck on the head by the plane’s propeller.

Norris was taken to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Youngstown in a critical condition after suffering a “severe laceration” to the head.

According to the report, Norris underwent surgery following the incident but remained in a critical condition.

Meanwhile, Keller also suffered broken bones in his hand but was treated and later released from hospital.

Vienna Township police reportedly told the publication that the propeller did not have a safety wire connected to it that would stop the engine from starting.

According to WKBN, PIA President and CEO Suzanne Markle released a statement following the incident, in which she thanked emergency services for their quick response and promised to conduct a thorough investigation.

It read: “On Wednesday morning shortly after 10:30 a.m., two students of the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics Youngstown Campus were injured by a propeller during a training experience.

“We are extremely grateful for the rapid response by 911 and the EMTs on site. We are not able to comment on the extent of the students’ injuries at this time.”

She added that PIA is “committed to a safe learning environment for all students and staff” and would be cooperating with authorities.

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