Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

San Francisco firefighter won't be charged in fatality

  • Print

SAN FRANCISCO -- The firefighter who ran over and killed a survivor of a commercial air disaster in San Francisco was unaware of the girl's death at the time and will not be charged with any crimes, a prosecutor announced Friday.

San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said firefighter Elyse Duckett was responding to the burning Boeing 777 when the truck she was driving rolled over Ye Mengyuan. Investigators believe Ye was lying prone on the tarmac, covered in firefighting foam.

"This was a dramatically chaotic situation," Wagstaffe said of absolving Duckett of any criminal responsibility. "It was not a tough conclusion to reach."

Wagstaffe said he arrived at his decision after reviewing police, fire and other first-responder reports, the coroner's investigation and numerous videos of events at the scene. Ye, 16, was a Chinese student visiting the United States with classmates.

Wagstaffe said some of the videos show the girl on the ground outside the plane before the area was covered in foam. Other videos have shown Duckett's rig later driving over the same area after it was covered in firefighting foam.

San Francisco Fire Department Chief Joanne Hayes-White declined to discuss Ye's death other than to call it a "tragic accident."

Hayes-White said in a prepared statement firefighters likely saved the lives of many critically injured passengers scattered around the tarmac and still trapped aboard the Asiana Airlines flight that crash-landed July 6.

In all, 304 of the 307 people aboard the plane survived the crash.

Ye and a friend were seated at the back of the plane, which came in too low and too slow, clipping its landing gear and tail on a rocky seawall just short of the runway.

It was unclear how Ye got from the plane to the spot where she died. Investigators believe she was down on the ground and not standing during the aftermath of the plane crash.

Anthony Tarricone, an attorney for Ye's family, said he was not surprised criminal charges were not filed.

"It's really not the subject of criminal prosecution," he said. "It's properly the subject of civil action, which we intend to prosecute."

He said he had not been in touch with Ye's family about the district attorney's decision.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 19, 2013 A31

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Willy wants to get back to winning

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 090728 / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS White Pelicans belly up to the sushi bar Tuesday afternoon at Lockport. One of North America's largest birds is a common sight along the Red RIver and on Lake Winnipeg. Here the fight each other for fish near the base of Red RIver's control structure, giving human fisher's downstream a run for their money.
  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Winnipeg Free Press 090528 STAND UP...(Weather) One to oversee the pecking order, a pack of pelican's fishes the eddies under the Red River control structure at Lockport Thursday morning......

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you think e-cigarettes should be banned by the school division?

View Results

Ads by Google