— In her ongoing recovery from a plane propeller accident, Lauren Scruggs continues to be a picture of optimism.
The 23-year-old model and fashion blogger, who lost her left hand and her left eye in the accident on Dec. 3, 2011, was recently photographed with a big smile while also making her first public appearance with her left arm showing. The photos were made public just days after Scruggs reached an insurance settlement from the incident.
Scruggs rejected a $200,000 settlement from Aggressive Insurance Services, the insurer of the plane and pilot involved in the accident before agreeing on a figure that was not publicly disclosed by her family. She recently was photographed while shopping with her family near her home in Plano, Texas, leaving her missing limb uncovered for the first time. Usually, the arm is covered by clothes or scarves.
In December, Scruggs walked into a spinning propeller after exiting the plane under darkness after a flight to view Christmas lights in the Dallas area. The National Transportation Safety Board determined the pilot, family friend Curt Richmond, was not negligent, though it said he should have shut down the engine sooner.
Richmond told Scruggs to walk away from the propeller as she exited the plane, but it’s unclear whether she was able to hear him over the roar of the engine, according to the NTSB report. The family has said publicly that it does not blame Richmond for the accident.
Scruggs has since received a prosthetic left eye in her remarkable recovery from her injuries and the physical and emotional toll they have taken. She tweeted photos from a family trip to Steamboat Springs, Colo., last month, adding that it was “such a fun weekend with sweet family and friends.’’
She also has returned to writing her fashion blog, “Lolo,’’ and has been tweeting about fashion trends and topics. In the recent photos, she appears happy and confident despite her injuries.