Ye Mengyan, 16, of China was struck and killed by a fire department vehicle

Was passenger on Asiana plane that crashed

SAN MATEO, Calif. - (CNN) -- Asiana Airlines Flight 214 passenger Ye Mengyan died of injuries she received when run over by a fire department vehicle, and she was alive when she was hit, Coroner Robert Foucrault of San Mateo County, California, said Friday.

Police previously said she might have been hit by a fire truck after she was thrown from the plane as it crash-landed on July 6 at San Francisco's airport.

Ye, 16, of China was one of three people who died from the crash and its aftermath.

San Francisco Fire Department Chief Joanne Hayes-White, attending a news conference with Foucrault, called the incident "a tragic accident" and apologized to Ye's family.

One of the department's aircraft rescue and firefighting vehicles struck the girl while she was on the ground, possibly covered with firefighting foam being sprayed on and around the burning plane, the chief said.

"I particularly want to express our condolences and apologies to the family of Ye Mengyan in light of the coroners' findings (in) this tragic accident," the chief said.

"Obviously this is very difficult news for us. We're heartbroken," she added.

The fire department is reaching out to the family through the Chinese consulate's office.

The investigation of what happened after the crash remains with the city's police department.

"We believe it was one of the specialized rigs at the airport, the ARFF rigs, aircraft rescue firefighting vehicles," Hayes-White said.

San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee said he was "profoundly saddened by the involvement of a responding emergency vehicle in the death of 16-year-old Ye Mengyuan."

"On behalf of the people of San Francisco, I offer my deepest condolences and regret for her tragic death, and the deaths of her close friend, Wang Linjia, and 15-year-old Liu Yipeng," the mayor said in a statement.

Wang, 16, was found dead at the scene along with Ye. Liu died days later in a San Francisco hospital.

He said firefighters and first responders helped save the lives of 304 of the 307 passengers and crew aboard the flight.

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