NEW: Video shows responders failed to determine whether Ye was still alive, lawyer says
Ye Meng Yuan, 16, survived the San Francisco plane crash last July
But she was run over and killed by an emergency vehicle
Newly released video suggests multiple emergency workers spotted her injured body
Teenager Ye Meng Yuan didn’t die when a plane crashed at San Francisco International Airport last July. She actually survived the impact, only to die minutes later after a fire truck ran over her.
Now, newly released video suggests emergency workers saw Ye’s injured body on the ground before she was fatally struck – challenging earlier claims that she was accidentally run over because she may have been covered in firefighting foam.
In the footage, one firefighter tried to stop an emergency vehicle racing toward the scene.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa! Stop, stop, stop! There’s a body … there’s a body right there. Right in front of you,” the firefighter told the driver.
The video was captured on a camera attached to a firefighter’s helmet and first aired by CBS. Another video from a fire truck shows a firefighter on the ground directing the truck around a victim, who was not covered in foam at the time.
Ye, 16, was on her way to an American summer camp from her home in China. Justin Green, a lawyer for her family, said the video shows several firefighters saw her lying on the tarmac, but none “did the basic step of checking if she was alive.”
“It’s unthinkable,” Green told CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360.” “It’s unimaginable, because the first thing – the first priority of the firefighters or any rescue personnel – is saving lives, and the first step in triage is to take the pulse, check the respiration. That was never done.”
A California coroner ruled that Ye was alive when flung from the plane but died of “multiple blunt injuries that are consistent with being run over by a motor vehicle.”
“Those injuries she received, she was alive at the time,” San Mateo County Coroner Robert Foucrault said.
Ye’s parents have filed a gross negligence claim against the city and county of San Francisco, arguing that the emergency responders who spotted Ye on the ground “failed to move her to a safe location, failed to mark her location; failed to protect her from moving vehicles in the vicinity of the aircraft where it was known that vehicles would be traveling; failed to alert commanders at the scene; and/or abandoned Ye Meng Yuan in a perilous location.”
Green said the teenager’s parents were devastated by her death.
“In China, they’re really only supposed to have one child,” he said. “This was the family’s only child, a girl who was a star student, who was the focus of their lives. Everything that they did was poured into this girl and her future, and that was taken away because of some terrible mistakes and inaction by the firefighters.”
The San Francisco Fire Department declined comment on the video, citing the pending claim. But in July, Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White offered her department’s “condolonces and apologies” to the Ye family.
“We’re heartbroken,” Hayes-White said. “We’re in the business of saving lives … There’s not a lot of words to describe how badly we feel about it.”
Two other people died when Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash-landed at the San Francisco airport July 6. The National Transportation Safety Board said the jet descended in altitude faster than it should have, and had a slower forward speed than intended.
CNN’s Dan Simon and Mike M. Ahlers contributed to this report.