The San Mateo County coroner today confirmed that a 16-year-old girl was fatally struck by a fire truck at San Francisco International Airport during the response to the crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 earlier this month.
Coroner Robert Foucrault said Ye Meng Yuan, a student from China, was still alive after the July 6 plane crash but died after suffering multiple blunt-force injuries consistent with being run over by a vehicle outside of the plane.
San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White said investigators believe the girl was struck by a specialized fire truck based at the airport.
The girl was on the ground and not standing up when she was struck, Hayes-White said.
“Obviously it’s devastating news to us,” Hayes-White said.
She said the fire department has apologized to Yuan’s family and is continuing to reach out to them via Mayor Ed Lee’s office and the Chinese consulate in San Francisco.
She said the department is reviewing its procedures in light of the incident.
“Every aspect of our response that day is under review,” the chief said.
Members of the fire department are “very emotional from this incident,” Hayes-White said. “We go to work everyday to save lives.”
“I, along with the men and women of the San Francisco Fire Department, are heartbroken about this news,” Hayes-White said in a statement.
In a statement, Mayor Lee said “On behalf of the people of San Francisco, I offer my deepest condolences and regret for her tragic death, and the deaths of her close friend Wang Linjia, and 15-year-old Liu Yipeng. Our hearts are heavy, and our thoughts and prayers continue to be with their families and friends an ocean away.”
More than 180 other people were injured in the crash. The cause of the accident remains under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.
Sasha Lekach of Bay City News contributed significantly to this report.