Theresa Hines was discovered dying on an American Airlines flight in the bathroom, and a horrified fellow passenger is accusing an EMT of removing her body down the aisle of the airplane while she was only partially clothed.
The passenger accused the airline of “dragging” the Texas customer support supervisor down the aisle, but the airline has defended the paramedic’s actions as appropriate and said Hines was carried down the aisle in a portable stretcher that is a tarp with handles.
Hines died shortly after being discovered in a rear bathroom on an American Airlines Boeing 737 flying from Dallas to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, reported The Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
The passenger told the Star-Tribune he felt that Hines should have been treated with more respect when she was removed from the plane.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Passenger Says Hines Was Not Fully Clothed When She Was Carried Past Them & the Airline Says Paramedics Were Focused on Saving Her Life
Hines was discovered in the restroom on the airplane in a medical emergency as the flight was about to land, according to The Dallas Morning News.
Crew members and “several medical professionals who were on board tried to help the woman, the airline said,” according to the newspaper. The flight was met by paramedics who brought Hines off the plane on a portable stretcher, but she died shortly thereafter, the newspaper reported.
The airline denied that Hines, 48, who was traveling alone, was naked when she was removed from the plane.
“Minneapolis airport spokesman Pat Hogan said emergency workers who carried Hines’ partially clothed body down the aisle were focused on saving her life,” The Associated Press reported.
A passenger had told the Star Tribune that Hines was naked from the waist down. Airline officials said she was wearing a shirt and underwear, according to the Minneapolis newspaper.
She had gone to the bathroom midway through the almost three hour flight.
2. Theresa Hines Was a Customer Support Supervisor From Texas
Theresa Hines said on Facebook that she worked as a customer support supervisor and lived in Carrollton, Texas.
She was married and from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. According to her Facebook page, Hines studied at Texas Woman’s University.
3. The Fellow Passenger Is Furious Over the Way That Hines Was Treated, Saying She Was Dragged
The airline’s explanation didn’t sit well with passenger Art Endress, an engineer who was on the flight. He told the Star-Tribune, the EMT “dragged her down the aisle” and was “out of line.”
WHIO-TV reported: “A woman who died following an in-flight medical emergency Monday was dragged, half-naked and unresponsive, from an American Airlines flight that landed in Minnesota, a witness said.” That witness was Endress.
According to NBC News Radio, “Art Endress, of Dallas, says he watched as the EMT and other responders ‘dragged’ the woman wearing little clothing down the aisle face up in front of passengers. Endress reported yesterday’s incident to authorities.”
4. Hines’ Loss Struck Her Family Very Hard, With One Relative Calling the Pain ‘Unbelievable’
Theresa Hines was loved by a lot of people. She left behind a son, who posted photo remembrances of her on Facebook.
Another relative shared photos and wrote, “Sad news in the Hines household. My husband and I received devastating news…we loss his daughter Theresa Hines suddenly today. R.I.P. Terri. The pain is unbelievable. Pray for Earnie. Pray for our family.”
Her father works as President & CEO for an insurance company.
5. The Incident Comes Just Months After David Dao Was Dragged Down the Aisle of an Overbooked United Flight
The controversy surrounding the treatment of Hines’ body comes just two months after a Kentucky doctor, David Dao, was dragged off an overbook United flight, causing national outrage and leading to a settlement with the airline.
The Dao incident has heightened passengers’ sensitivities to treatment by airlines.