Well, this is even sadder than the originally assumed sequence of events: It turns out that the 16-year-old girl who was run over by the firetruck responding to the crash of Asiana Flight 214 was actually pulled out of the plane, alive, and placed on the ground by a rescue worker where she was then run over by a late-arriving firetruck.
In the original narrative, there were two crash victims thrown from the rear of the plane, one of whom was killed and the other, Ye Mengyuan, was found to have been alive by the coroner before sustaining injuries from the firetruck, assumed to be a first responder. The new narrative, which comes via some investigative reporting from ABC7's Dan Noyes, finds that Ye was not only alive but that she was not thrown from the plane. She was covered with fire-retardant foam at the time, and a firefighter working to rescue passengers at the rear of the plane had pulled her out and placed her on the ground near the wing.
Elyse Duckett, 49, was the veteran firefighter at the wheel of the rig that allegedly struck Yuan, and her truck was not equipped with heat-detection technology to detect people in visually impaired situations. A documentary made recently featured Duckett and her career in the SFFD, and she had gone out for food for her colleagues at the time of the crash. She returned to the firehouse, which is right near the runways, to find them all gone, and that's when she got into a rig by herself and headed to the scene. she was told this week that it was her truck that hit the girl, and she was offered counseling.
It is arguable that more of the blame for Ye's death falls on the rescuer who put her on the runway in a particularly dangerous spot while the chaos of fighting the fire was underway. It seems she may have ended up being covered with "a blanket" of the fire-retardant foam, making her impossible to see, and the rescuer may not have known whether she was alive or dead.
At a news conference last week, fire chief Joanne Hayes-White said, "There's not a lot of words to describe how badly we feel, how sorry we feel."