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A Chinese student on board the ill-fated Asiana Flight 214 survived the crash-landing of the Boeing 777 only to be killed on the runway by an emergency vehicle racing toward the downed plane, the San Mateo County Coroner said Friday.
Ye Meng Yuan, 16, died from "multiple blunt injuries consistent with being run over by a motor vehicle. Those injuries indicate she was alive at the time,'' said coroner Robert Foucrault. Internal bleeding ruled out any chance she was already dead when she was struck,'' Foucrault said.
"She was alive when she received the injuries," he said.
It was unclear whether Yuan, part of a group scheduled to attend a three-week California summer camp, was struck by more than one vehicle.
Yuan and 16-year-old classmate Wang Linjia were pronounced dead at the scene of the July 6 crash at San Francisco International airport. A third victim, 15-year-old Liu Yipeng, died from injuries July 12. The three attended Jiangshan Middle School in Zhejiang, an affluent coastal province in eastern China.
More than 180 passengers were injured.
Police and fire officials confirmed last week that Ye Meng Yuan was hit by a firetruck racing to extinguish the blazing Boeing 777, but had not determined whether she was already dead at the time. She was covered with flame-retardant foam when she was struck and found in the tracks that the vehicle made in the foam, according to the San Francisco Police Department, which investigated the case.
San Francisco Fire Department Chief Joanne Hayes-White said a specialized emergency vehicle may have run over the prone body.
"Obviously, this is devastating news for us, a tragic accident,'' she said. "We are heartbroken."
The post-crash tarmac was a hectic scene, filled with crash debris, fleeing passengers and crew and first responders extinguishing fires and rescuing those still aboard.
"It' was a difficult scene" to navigate, she said.