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Woman’s arm cut off by plane’s propeller in Key West

The Fort Myers woman stepped in front of the plane and was struck.
Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. [TMCCARTY | times staff]
Published Oct. 14

A passenger on a private flight headed out of Key West stepped in front of the plane Saturday night and was struck by the propeller, which severed one of her arms, police said.

Rebecca Lynn Gray, 45, of Fort Myers, was taken to Lower Keys Medical Center and then airlifted to a Miami-area hospital in stable condition, according to the Florida Highway Patrol, which is handling the case.

The incident happened at about 8:45 p.m. Saturday at the Key West International Airport.

Her husband, Walter Gray, 46, witnessed the incident and was the pilot of the single-propeller Cessna. 172S. The plane was a rental out of Fort Myers.

A Monroe County Sheriff’s Office spokesman said the woman’s foot was also severed but FHP said they could only confirm the woman lost an arm.

The incident began when Walter Gray tried to taxi on the runway but the plane wouldn’t move.

He got out, while the plane was still running, to check to see if the plane’s tires were still in the wheel chocks, the wedges of sturdy material put against a plane’s wheels to prevent accidental movement.

He told his wife to stay in the plane but she got out.

Gray then told his wife not to go to the front of the plane but she did. She went to remove a chock from the plane’s tires and she came in contact with the propeller.

Key West Fire Rescue took the woman to Lower Keys Medical Center.

Gwen Filosa wrote this story for the Miami Herald.

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