No charges for firefighter in girl's death at SFO

The San Mateo County DA announced there will be no criminal charges filed in the case of an Asiana plane crash passenger run over by a fire truck.
October 18, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The San Mateo County District Attorney has announced there will be no criminal charges filed in the case of an Asiana plane crash passenger, run over by a fire truck in July.

Mengyuan Ye, 16, was covered in foam on the tarmac at San Francisco International Airport when a fire vehicle ran over her. On Friday the DA said it was a tragic accident not a crime.

"Quite candidly, this was not a close call," said San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

Wagstaffe says there's no evidence to suggest that the San Francisco firefighter was criminally negligent when she ran over Ye. The 16-year-old was in a foot-deep layer of fire-retardant foam when the fire truck drove right over her.

"The driver of this vehicle could not have seen her or done anything or have avoided it, one could say. I also want to emphasize that this was a? the word chaotic is not an exaggeration for what was going on out there," said Wagstaffe.

Ye was one of three passengers who died following the July 6th crash of Asiana Flight 214 at SFO. The firefighter was driving a fire truck when it rolled over Ye's head, killing her.

The district attorney also concluded that other first-responders aren't criminally negligent either and that includes the firefighters who failed to take the girl to a triage area.

San Francisco Fire Chief Jonanne Hayes-White declined to comment on-camera, but in a prepared statement said, "The San Mateo County District Attorney, Stephen Wagstaffe, has confirmed that there was no criminal culpability by any of our members. The San Francisco Fire Department remains vigilant in exploring areas in our operations, strategies and tactics where improvements could be made."

As for civil action, plans are moving forward. Anthony Tarricone represents Ye's family. He told us by phone, "They didn't properly examine her. They didn't carry her to a safe place. They essentially abandoned her before any of the foam was put down."

Ye's family is expected to file a claim against the city and county of San Francisco in the coming weeks.


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