New details continue to emerge in the case of an Ohio teen who died inside a van after calling 911 twice on Tuesday, begging for help.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, 16-year-old Kyle Jacob Plush called 911 on Tuesday afternoon and panicked as he explained that he was locked inside a 2004 Honda Odyssey minivan in the parking lot of Seven Hills School at 5400 Red Bank in Hamilton County. He indicated he didn’t have much time to live.
“This is not a joke,” he said. “I am trapped inside a gold Honda Odyssey van in the parking lot of Seven Hills. … Send officers immediately. I’m almost dead.”
An officer responded to the scene and claimed he couldn’t find anyone trapped inside a van. According to ABC, the officer reportedly began arguing with a woman nearby and questioned if the call was a prank. The officer left but Kyle called 911 again, explaining that he was indeed in the van and he wasn’t making a fake call.
According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, sources indicated that Kyle, who played on the school’s tennis team, attempted to grab tennis gear from the back of the van while putting his knee on the third row seating area. The third row bench seat flipped backward, collapsed on him, and trapped him. The weight of the seat flipped Kyle upside down with his head facing the rear of the van.
Kyle couldn’t reach his phone, so he voice-activated “Siri” on his iPhone. After help failed to arrive after the first call, Kyle called 911 again and conveyed that he thought he didn’t have much time to live and wanted to make sure his mother knew he loved her.
“I probably don’t have much time left, so tell my mom I love her if I die.”
— Joelle Dewulf (@joelle_dewulf) April 13, 2018
According to Hamilton County Coroner Lakshmi Sammarco, Kyle couldn’t breathe while trapped under the seat and in turn, died from “asphyxia by chest compression.” The teen’s father found him at around 9 p.m., hours after he called 911 for help. Earlier that evening, the boy’s mother called 911 for help when Kyle failed to return home.
“My son never came home from school,” Kyle’s mother said to a 911 dispatcher. “We thought he was at a tennis match. And he never came home from school…We don’t know where he is.”
— WCPO (@WCPO) April 13, 2018
While investigating the incident, authorities learned that the 911 operator who took Kyle’s second call failed to get the make, model, and color of his van. An officer was reportedly told to go to the Seven Hills School parking lot, but the van was parked in the overflow parking lot, located directly across the street from the school’s main parking lot. The confusion apparently caused the responding officer’s failure to locate the vehicle.
The 911 operator was identified as Amber Smith, a woman who has worked with Cincinnati’s 911/ECC since 2014. Smith was put on administrative leave while authorities continue to investigate the incident.
Kyle had spinal developmental issues, along with other medical problems, according to WHIO. However, friends and family said that he never let his disabilities keep him down. He loved sports and enjoyed being a part of the Seven Hills School’s tennis team. His former principal at Mercy Montessori, Patty Normille, said that while attending the school from kindergarten to sixth grade, Kyle loved science, showed great empathy for others, and was a “small guy with a big personality.”
The story continues to develop. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo: Kyle Plush/Handout]