The death of a teen Asiana Airlines passenger run over by a fire truck responding to the jet’s July crash was “a tragic accident” that does not warrant criminal charges, San Mateo County’s district attorney announced Friday morning.
In a written statement, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said that there is no criminal culpability for anyone involved in the response to the “very chaotic scene” and that the death of Le Mengyuan, 16, did not violate any laws.
Ye was alive and lying on the tarmac after either being taken from or being ejected from the plane. But she was covered in fire retardant foam which obscured her body from view prior to being struck by at least one fire truck. She died of injuries to her head, according to Coroner Robert Foucrault.
Asiana Flight 214 crashed July 6 after hitting a wall while attempting to land at San Francisco International Airport. Two Chinese students were killed and 180 others were injured. The National Transportation Safety Board investigation is ongoing but authorities have said that the Boeing 777 was entering the SFO runway too low and slow.
In July, San Francisco Fire Department Chief Joanne Hayes-White apologized to Ye’s family and called her death a “tragic incident.”
Wagstaffe said his office’s decision was based on video of the events at the scene, Foucrault’s conclusions and numerous reports by first responders.
He also lauded the “remarkable efforts” of the San Francisco police and fire personnel who risked their own safety attempting to save hundreds of lives.