Compared to car and truck accidents, plane crashes are quite rare. Unfortunately,
the tradeoff is that when plane crashes do occur, they are likely to be
fatal. With this in mind, imagine surviving a plane crash only to be killed
in a car accident shortly thereafter by those coming to rescue you.
Sadly, this happened to a 16-year-old girl in California. Her parents recently filed a
wrongful death lawsuit against the city of San Francisco.
According to news reports, the girl was a passenger aboard the Asiana Airlines
plane that crash-landed at the San Francisco airport in July 2013. She
had come to the United States for a college visit and to attend summer camp.
After the plane crashed, the girl was lying on the ground near the wreckage
and awaiting rescue. When emergency vehicles came onto the scene, the
16-year-old crash victim was fatally run over. Her cause of death was
later confirmed by the San Mateo County coroner.
The girls’ parents allege that their daughter was killed because
rescue workers – including San Francisco firefighters and police
– were poorly trained and acted recklessly. The lawsuit states that
as the girl was “lying helpless on the ground,” rescue workers
“inexplicably, failed to evaluate her condition, treat her, mark
her location, or remove her from the perilous location where she lay curled
in the `fetal position.’”
A commercial airplane crash in the United States is rare, which is one
reason why the Asiana Airlines crash caught everyone off guard. While
it is important to respect and be grateful for the work that rescue crews
perform, this particular fatality could likely have been prevented if
crews had responded with greater caution.
Source: Insurance Journal, “
Wrongful Death Suit Filed Over SFO Runway Death After Asiana Crash,” Aug. 15, 2014