Le Yang, who was left grievously impaired after surviving a wreck in which his mother died after running off an icy road into a pond on Cooper Orbit Road Jan. 14, 2013, died Monday. He was seven and the son of Dayong Yang, a hospital nurse.

Much has been written about the case.  The child’s mother, Jinglei Li, called from her slowly sinking SUV after sliding into the pond on a cold morning. A failure by police dispatch to notify all emergency agencies delayed response of workers able to reach the car. Neither Yi nor her child could swim and the water was frigid.

The mother wasn’t pulled out of the water until 53 minutes after her first call. Her child was placed in an ambulance an hour and 10 minutes after the first distress call. The mother died. The child survived, but was left permanently disabled.

A lawsuit was filed against the city over the death, a novel action because public agencies are generally immune from suit. But as the linked article above notes, the suit claims a new argument.  The lawsuit says it is unconstitutional to provide no remedy for someone harmed by an agency. The other alternative is a claim before the state Claims Commission.


Work on the case has brought out the poor vetting in the hiring of the 911 worker who failed to notify all agencies. It also has revealed short staffing in the city’s dispatch center.  The lawsuit will continue and incorporate a wrongful death claim, said one of the McMath Firm attorneys working on the case, Charles Harrison.

Roller-Chenal Funeral Home will be handling arrangements for the child’s funeral.