Published: November 8, 2021 4:39 pm
Updated: November 8, 2021 5:03 pm
ORLANDO, Fla. – Weeks after a head-on crash left Brevard County launch photographer Jenny Hautmann critically injured, the 20-year-old is recovering steadily in the hospital.
In the early hours of Oct. 16, Hautmann was on her way to photograph a NASA rocket launch when a U-Haul truck drifted into oncoming traffic and collided with the Tesla Model 3 she was driving.
The force of the crash crushed the front of the Tesla — pinning Hautmann inside.
In a 911 call obtained by News 6, a man tells dispatchers the U-Haul driver is unconscious, his female passenger is hurt, and a person trapped in the other vehicle needed help.
“There’s a girl crying in there trapped in there,” the caller says.
Hautmann has since endured multiple surgeries for her broken legs, shattered foot, ruptured spleen, fractured pelvic bone, a tracheostomy procedure, and facial reconstruction.
A GoFundMe page set up by Hautmann’s sister grew to over $50,000 in less than one day, with help from Jenny’s colleagues in the space media community and a $10,000 donation from Jared Isaacman, the billionaire who funded this summer’s all-civilian trip to space aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule.
In an update on Monday, Julia Hautmann said her sister’s recovery has been slow but steady.
“Jenny’s shattered foot is one of the biggest concerns – it may require additional reconstructive surgeries and a possible skin transplant on her heel in the future. Her jaw braces and wires were finally removed and she was able to give us a smile. Her strength and resilience continue to amaze us,” the update said on GoFundMe.
READ MORE: ‘Profoundly talented:’ Space Coast launch photographer hospitalized from crash, GoFundMe raises $50k
Hautmann is a professional photographer for the space media company Supercluster, taking pictures and videos of dazzling rocket launches and spaceflight activity around Kennedy Space Center with sharp precision.
“She is profoundly talented,” Supercluster Chief Robin Seemangal told News 6.
Today is a good day for @JennyHPhoto and her family. She's no longer listed as critical and had a few smiles on her face this morning.
Jenny is healing and will be on her feet in no time. Her parents John, Susanne, and her sister Julia are incredibly loving and supportive. pic.twitter.com/2MKQngtzOV
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the crash killed the 36-year-old driver of the U-Haul truck and critically injured his wife in the passenger seat.
Pictures posted on Twitter by photographer John Kraus show what’s left of the Tesla Model 3 Hautmann was driving.
“They had to cut the roof off of the Tesla to extricate her out,” FHP Lt. Kim Montes said.
Miraculously, Hautmann’s family said the crash sparred Jenny’s compromised lungs caused by cystic fibrosis. Despite living with the condition her whole life, Hautmann successfully pursued a career in photography where she has become a well-respected member of the space media community.
Hautmann’s family says the kindness and support from all over the world is keeping them going.
“We’re relaying all your messages to Jenny and she’s so grateful for each and every one of you,” the family said in an update posted on GoFundMe.
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Katrina Scales joined News 6 as a TV producer in June 2021.
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