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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 09:12 AM
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Air Force officials make payments to grieving South Korean family
Air Force officials make payments to grieving South Korean family
By Ashley Rowland and Hwang Hae-rym, Stars and Stripes
Pacific edition, Thursday, November 29, 2007

U.S. Air Force officials made condolence payments Tuesday to the family of two South Korean sisters killed Sunday afternoon when a bus from Kunsan Air Base hit their van, according to Kunsan spokeswoman Capt. Tiffany Payette.

Col. C.Q. Brown, commander of the 8th Fighter Wing, and Brig. Gen. Harold Moulton, vice commander of the 7th Air Force, made the solatia payments as they visited the surviving passengers at hospitals in Incheon on Tuesday, Payette said.

According to South Korean custom, solatia payments are presented as an expression of sympathy after injury or death, usually during a visit to the family. They are not considered an admission of fault. Payette said the amount of the payment will not be released due to privacy concerns.

Fifteen U.S. troops and four family members were on the bus, traveling from Kunsan to Osan Air Base, headquarters for the 7th Air Force, when it hit the van around 1 p.m. One American was treated for minor injuries at Osan and released the same day, Air Force officials said.

The South Korean family in the van was returning to Incheon after visiting relatives in the southwest part of the country, police said. Sisters Jeong Gi-ae, 45, and Jeong Mi-he, 40, were killed instantly in the crash.

The six other passengers were critically injured. They are van driver Jeong Jong-gu, 43; his wife, Kim Soon-sil, 42; their sons Jeong Hyun-chang, 17, and Jeong Dong-chul, 15; Jeong Jong-gus brother-in-law, Park Seung-bae, 47; and Parks son, Park Sun-hwi, 9, police officials said.

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