Tannerite victim also pushes for regulations
In every life, there is a defining minute, a tipping point that changes everything. Jennifer Plank had her moment this summer, an instant in time she captured on video.
"Next thing I know, my hand is no longer there. It blew the phone out of my hand," said Plank.
Plank says she was standing more than 100 yards from an explosion. A friend had set up an old clothes dryer with the explosive tannerite inside. That same friend was shooting a new rifle for the first time.
Plank took her cell phone out to shoot a video,
The video Plank shot shows the instant after the explosion. Metal is flying everywhere and one piece hit Jennifer.
"I grabbed my thumb and the skin that was left and held it up and I screamed for somebody to get a tourniquet," she said.
Her wrist is held together by metal rods and screws.
"I have lost my career, I have lost everything I had," she said.
She can't move and has lost feeling in three of fingers.
Plank had never heard of tannerite until she was in the hospital and her friends tried to explain what happened.
When she saw Eyewitness News' story on tannerite earlier this month, it triggered a flood of memories.
"Yes I did and had nightmares the entire night, because to me, I have flashbacks. To me it is very real. When the shot came across the ground into the camera to me, that was what I lived through, except it was shrapnel coming at me," Plank said.@
We showed Plank's video to State Senator Jim Merritt, who is working on legislation that would set a minimum age for buyers of tannerite.
"Registration is a difficult situation, but I really think we need to limit the amount of this product on the market," Merritt said.
Merritt's legislation would restrict buyers to 10 pounds of tannerite per purchase. Plank, on the other hand, says "I would do anything to try and get this stuff under control, because it is just scary to know these kids can walk into Rural King and they have a video showing them what they can do with it."
Plank is considering legal action over the incident that left her injured. Her main concern is making sure kids don't get their hands on the substance.