Asiana Air 214 victim's family files lawsuit

Updated: 2014-08-15 12:11

By Lian Zi in San Francisco(China Daily USA)

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The family of Ye Mengyuan, who survived the crash of an Asiana Airlines jet in San Francisco but was later killed by being run over by two emergency vehicles, said on Wednesday that they are suing the City of San Francisco, claiming rescue crews violated her constitutional right to life.

"We filed the complaint in court, which is the beginning of the court process," Anthony Tarricone, an attorney representing Ye's family, told China Daily on Thursday, adding that the lawsuit was filed in San Mateo County Superior Court.

Tarricone is a partner of Kreindler and Kreindler law firm, which also issued a press release, reading: "Ye Mengyuan, 16, was the only child in her family, and her parents have been devastated by her untimely death. Her parents hope that the lawsuit will provide answers on why city rescue workers failed to aid her and left her in harm's way, where she was run over by fire trucks."

The city government said it was premature for them to respond, since they hadn't seen the lawsuit, according to Matt Dorsey of the San Francisco City Attorney's Office.

According to a video taken from a firefighter's helmet camera, an emergency worker warned his colleague about a survivor he found on the ground and asked: "Can you grab me something to cover the body right there?" before the fire crew ran over Ye.

"Not one of the firefighters checked to see if she was breathing. She was covered by foam and run over by two different trucks," Justin Green, another attorney said.

Criminal charges were not filed against the firefighter whose emergency vehicle struck and killed Ye, government officials announced in October of 2013, calling Ye's death a tragic accident that did not involve any violation of criminal laws.

Ye and her close friend, 16-year-old Wang Linjia, were part of a group of students and teachers who were heading to summer camp in California. They were sitting at the rear of the airplane, and their bodies were found on the runway.

Asiana Airlines Flight 214 was a scheduled passenger flight from Incheon, South Korea, to San Francisco. On the morning of July 6, 2013, the aircraft crashed on final approach into San Francisco International Airport. There were 307 people onboard, and two passengers, Ye Mengyuan and Wang Linjia, died at the crash scene, and a third Chinese girl, 15, whose name and identity were not released at the request of her parents, died in the hospital a week later.

(China Daily USA 08/15/2014 page2)