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BUENA PARK : Victims in Car Crash Buried After Delay

Parents who lost two daughters in a fiery car crash Saturday were finally able to bury the women Wednesday after an initial delay in the bodies’ being released by the coroner.

“I’m very happy and relieved that we will now have a beautiful funeral,” Seung Yang, father of the sisters, said before the burial.

The Yang family was distraught Tuesday when it appeared that the funeral would have to be canceled because the victims’ bodies had not been released by the Los Angeles County coroner.

Bob Dambacher, spokesman for the coroner’s office, said the office delayed releasing the bodies because they were not readily identifiable. Both were burned beyond recognition.

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Yang said the family received a call from a Los Angeles funeral home late Tuesday saying the victims’ bodies would be released sometime during the night. But it was not until late Wednesday morning that the family was able to confirm that the bodies were released and the funeral could proceed.

The sisters were buried during a 2:30 p.m. service at Rose Hills Memorial Park near Whittier.

Soo Mee Yang, 18, and Soo Jung Yang, 19, were killed instantly early Saturday when the car they were riding in was rear-ended on the Santa Ana Freeway and burst into flames.

The sisters, both seniors and honor students at Buena Park High School, had been told to go straight home after attending their prom Friday at the Waterfront Hilton at Huntington Beach, their father said.

Instead they went to a late-night party in Los Angeles, he said.

They were on their way home from that party with a male friend about 5:30 a.m. when the car got into a minor traffic accident with a pickup truck in the fast lane of the southbound freeway in East Los Angeles, CHP Officer Louis Gutierrez said.

While the two drivers stopped to exchange information, the car the sisters were in was struck from behind by another vehicle. It exploded, killing the two women, Gutierrez said.

The driver who crashed into them was not cited. He was treated at a nearby hospital for minor injuries. Neither of the other drivers was injured.

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The sisters moved to Buena Park from their native Korea with their mother and older sister in March, 1990. Their father left in 1987 to start an import-export business in Buena Park.

Soo Jung Yang was graduating June 11, but her sister had planned to stay at the high school another year to improve her English, Principal Christine Hoffman said.


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