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Family Describes Fatal Crash With National Grid Truck

By Beth Germano, WBZ-TV
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72-year-old Xjaoyun Jiang was killed when a backhoe rolled on top of a minivan on I-495 in Southboro Aug. 12, 2011.

72-year-old Xjaoyun Jiang was killed when a backhoe rolled on top of a minivan on I-495 in Southboro Aug. 12, 2011.

WBZ-TV's Beth Germano Beth Germano
Emmy award-winning Beth Germano is a general assignment reporter fo...
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BOSTON (CBS) – For the first time, the family involved in a fatal accident with a National Grid truck on August 12 is speaking out about the ordeal. Yingzi “Sharon” Wang was behind the wheel of her 2000 Toyota Sienna minivan when the truck, hauling a backhoe on a trailer, drove past her on Route 495 southbound in Southboro.

The backhoe suddenly fell off forcing Wang down an embankment and landing on the roof of her vehicle. Her two children and her mother were also inside.

“I can’t see anything, I can only hear their voice. I can hear my daughter and son talking to me so at least they were still alive,” she tells WBZ-TV.

WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano reports

It would be three days before she knew her mother, 72-year-old Xjaoyun Jiang was killed, asphyxiated, according to the medical examiner, by the crumpled metal in the back seat. “I hear my son talk to the people to save my Grandma. I don’t know anything after that,” she said.

Wang was trapped for over an hour, the roof of the minivan caved in on top of her making it difficult to breathe. “I banged on the car door, I screamed and said ‘help, help’,” she said. “It was so terrible. At the end I thought I would go to sleep. I didn’t have the energy to hold on.”

When she was med-flighted to the hospital Wang said she asked about her mother. “I asked people how about my mom, did anyone see my mom. All they could tell me was that I was the only patient.”

Her husband Frank Ye rushed to the hospital where he found his children Katie and Kevin in the emergency room, but it would be three hours before he saw his wife, who was the last to be pulled from the wreckage. “When I saw the actual damage I was really shocked. I can’t believe my wife and kids are still alive after I saw it,” Ye said.

The trauma has taken its toll on the family dealing with mounting medical bills, and the loss of his mother-in-law who had lived with the family for the last three years. “I miss my mother-in-law. For the first time we had to bury someone in this country,” he said.

National Grid admitted after the accident it was test driving a vehicle at the time because of safety concerns expressed by employees. The family believes that was nothing short of negligent on a busy highway on a Friday afternoon. “Why do they want to drive it on a public road in heavy traffic when they can do it in the middle of the night,” said Ye. “I feel if there was no such test drive then my mother-in-law would be alive and my wife can still be a normal person.”

Wang suffered severe injuries to her spine that nearly prevented her from walking again, and is still recovering mobility in her right hand. “My whole body suffers everyday,” she said. But it’s her mother she misses. “I’m very close to my Mom,” she said.

The family is considering filing a lawsuit against the National Grid. The utility said it would not comment while an investigation into the accident is ongoing.

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