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Asiana crash: DA to decide on firefighter's possible criminal charge

Thursday, October 03, 2013
The Federal Aviation Administration says an Asiana Airlines plane crashed while landing at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday, July 6, 2013.

The Federal Aviation Administration says an Asiana Airlines plane crashed while landing at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday, July 6, 2013. (KABC Photo)

Prosecutors are deciding whether a firefighter should be criminally charged in the death of a teen killed by a fire truck following the Asiana Airlines plane crash in San Francisco.

Prosecutors say they expect to decide within two weeks whether criminal charges are warranted.

Authorities say Chinese student Ye Mengyuan died after a fire truck ran over her in the aftermath of the crash. Mengyuan, along with two classmates, died and dozens were injured after the Asiana Airlines flight from Seoul crash landed at San Francisco International Airport on July 6.

The girl was buried under firefighting foam rescue workers were spraying to douse the burning plane.

Fire department officials are still investigating the incident.

"Whenever a vehicle collides with a person and causes death, there's a possibility of a crime," said prosecutor Al Serrato, an assistant district attorney in San Mateo, noting that there are a range of potential charges from vehicular manslaughter to recklessness.

"And there's also the possibility this was just a tragic accident," he added.

Attorney Anthony Tarricone, who is representing Ye's family and other survivors, said experts who reviewed the autopsy concluded she may have been run over twice, because she had both head injuries, which killed her, and what he said were subsequent pelvic injuries.

"We believe she was likely carried off the plane by a firefighter and placed on the ground, and then she was abandoned, left unattended and run over," Tarricone said. "As far as we know, she was never properly examined."

Tarricone said regardless of whether criminal charges are filed, he plans to sue the San Francisco Fire Department and other agencies involved before a January, 2014, deadline.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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northern california, airport news, airplane, plane crash, california news
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