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article imageFamily of SF plane crash victim run over by rescuers drops suit

By Nathan Salant     Aug 12, 2015 in Travel
San Francisco - The parents of the young girl accidentally killed by first-responders after she survived a plane crash at San Francisco International Airport have dropped their lawsuit against the city.
Gan Ye and Xiao Yun Zheng of China, whose daughter, Ye Meng Yuan was the third person killed in the day's horrific events, withdrew their lawsuit against San Francisco after reaching an "agreeable" settlement, a family attorney said.
"The parties have reached a confidential settlement on mutually agreeable terms," said Gretchen Nelson of Los Angeles, who represented the girl's parents, according to the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper.
Nelson also represents the family in a related lawsuit against Asiana Airlines over the 2013 crash, which is still pending.
But San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera denied that the family had been compensated to drop the lawsuit, the newspaper said.
"We're grateful for a dismissal that will spare everyone involved the added heartache and costs of litigation, which we believed from the beginning to be without legal merit," Herrera said.
But Nelson took issue with Herrera's statement, saying she took “strong exception” to any implication that the dropping of the suit “in any way vindicates certain personnel in the department for what happened to their daughter.”
Ye Meng Yuan was run over by two fire trucks as she was lying unconscious near the burning fuselage of Flight 214 on a SFO runway on July 6, 2013, after the Boeing 777 jetliner hit a seawall and crashed.
Two other passengers were killed in the crash and hundreds were injured in the crash, which was later determined by the National Transportation Safety Board to have been the result of pilot error.
Ye Meng Yuan had been spotted earlier by firefighters but had been obscured by fire-suppressing foam by the time she was struck by the trucks, officials said.
Her family had complained that rescue workers had erred in not marking her location and not notifying commanders that there was a victim on the runway.
Whether Ye Meng Yuan had fallen from the plane as it tumbled down the runway or was moved away by rescue workers after the crash was never firmly established, although the NTSB said she had been ejected from the jet in the accident.
San Francisco officials claimed she was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash and was already dead when the trucks struck her.
The same city officials applauded the actions of early responders in general to the chaotic scene at SFO immediately following the crash.
“With thousands of gallons of venting jet fuel threatening unimaginable calamity, our firefighters initiated a daring interior search-and-rescue that within minutes extricated trapped passengers, and moved them safely to medical triage,” Herrera said.
“We must not lose sight of the valiant work of all first responders that resulted in the saving of hundreds of lives;” Hayes-White said.
The South Korean airline operates two nonstop flights daily between Seoul and San Francisco.
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