911 operator ‘hated’ her job, said she couldn’t hear boy’s desperate cry for help when he called, trapped inside a van: Report

The Ohio 911 dispatcher who took a call from a teen trapped in a van on Tuesday reportedly indicated she couldn’t hear the boy when he called in. The boy’s desperate call came after the 911 operator allegedly posted on Facebook that she hated her job and the overtime hours.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Cincinnati 911 operator Amber Smith took a call from 16-year-old Kyle Jacob Plush on Tuesday after the teen became trapped inside a Honda Odyssey minivan at the Seven Hills School in Hamilton County at around 3:14 p.m. Kyle, who died inside the van, panicked as he told Smith he needed help and couldn’t breathe. Smith, who’s accused of failing to provide the responding officer with the make, model, or color of the minivan, is now on administrative leave while authorities investigate the incident.

Prior to Kyle’s death, Smith reportedly took to Facebook to complain about her job as a 911 operator. In 2017, she posted a “vent” on Facebook, writing that overtime has made her “hate” her job.

“I’m always at work and working overtime… all it does (is) makes us hate our job and hate the people that are off for months… Just feel like venting. That’s all. Nothing will change.”

Meanwhile, a confidential police review obtained by the Enquirer reportedly indicated that some sort of mistake on Tuesday afternoon happened during Kyle’s second 911 call and Smith wasn’t able to hear him. Investigators are trying to determine exactly what happened and whether it was a technical issue, a mistake by the operator, or something else. Yet, the police and the city’s 911 service provider reportedly found nothing wrong the phone system.

On the call, Smith is heard asking if anyone is there. She didn’t say anything else afterward but Kyle can be heard panicking and explaining he felt he didn’t have much time left to live.

“This is not a joke. I am trapped inside a gold Honda Odyssey van in the parking lot of Seven Hills. … Send officers immediately. I’m almost dead……I probably don’t have much time left, so tell my mom I love her if I die.”

According to the review, Smith also said her computer froze when she tried to document the exact time the call from Kyle came in.

It was during that crucial second call that Kyle provided the needed information in order for an officer to find him, including the make and model of the vehicle he was trapped in and his exact location. Kyle’s van was later found in the overflow parking lot directly across from the school’s main parking lot.

Kyle’s first 911 call was taken by operator Stephanie Magee, who mostly followed the correct protocol and dispatched police to the Seven Hills School parking lot in Hamilton County. She couldn’t give them further information because the call dropped. When Magee tried to call Kyle back, his voicemail picked up.

Reports indicate the main mistake Magee made was failing to report the during Kyle’s call, she heard banging and screaming. Had officers known about it, they may have understood how urgent the situation was.

During a press conference on Thursday, CPD Police Chief Eliot Isaac explained that something “went terribly wrong” and without enough information to go on, officers were unable to save Kyle.

“This young man was crying out for help and we were not able to get information to officers on the scene.”

As CrimeOnline previously reported, 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.

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.


Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.

[Feature Photo: Kyle Plush/Handout]