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Asiana Airlines victim who may have been run over is identified

Disasters and AccidentsAir Transportation DisastersTransportation DisastersAbusive BehaviorAsiana AirlinesNational Transportation Safety BoardBoeing

SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Mateo County coroner has identified the teen victim of the Asiana Airlines crash who may have been run over by an emergency vehicle as Ye Mengyuan.

Ye and her close friend, Wang Linjia, were the sole fatalities of Saturday’s Boeing 777 crash, which sent 182 others to area hospitals.

According to the Beijing Morning Post, the 16-year-old girls attended high school together in Jiangshan in the eastern province of Zhejiang. Ye was described by the paper as an outstanding student and piano player and a national aerobics champion. Her body was found close to the aircraft’s left wing.

At some point during the harrowing rescue effort, first responders realized that an emergency vehicle had probably run over her, though it remains unclear whether she died before then.

Wang's body was found about a mile away, close to where the aircraft first hit the ground. She is believed to have been ejected from the rear – along with two flight attendants who survived with serious injuries – when the tail sheared off. Chinese news accounts described Wang as a talented calligrapher who often posted poetic thoughts on a Chinese microblogging site similar to Twitter.

The two were part of a group of Chinese high school students who were supposed to arrive Monday at West Valley Christian Church and School in the San Fernando Valley for a three-week summer camp.

San Mateo County Coroner Robert. J Foucrault said Wednesday that the physical examination of Ye's body was complete but that an analysis was continuing as to the cause of death.

“When you do an examination it involves many pieces,” Foucrault said. “When all those pieces are in place, we can release the findings.”

Representatives of his office met Tuesday with parents of the girls at a family assistance center set up by the National Transportation Safety Board, he said. The parents flew in to San Francisco International Airport late Monday.

According to San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White, fire officials immediately notified San Francisco police -- as well as the FBI and the NTSB -- when it became apparent that Ye had been struck at some point by an emergency vehicle.

The drivers of all five trucks that raced to the scene have tested negative for drugs and alcohol -- tests conducted as part of a routine investigation protocol, San Francisco Fire Lt. Mindy Talmadge said.

The police department has also been conducting interviews with the responders.

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Twitter @leeromney

lee.romney@latimes.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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Disasters and AccidentsAir Transportation DisastersTransportation DisastersAbusive BehaviorAsiana AirlinesNational Transportation Safety BoardBoeing
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