A Cincinnati 911 operator was suspended after mishandling an emergency call from a terrified 16-year-old high school student who was crushed to death when his minivan seat fell on him.
Kyle Plush died inside his family’s minivan in a parking lot of his private school in Madisonville, Ohio on Tuesday.
In his first 911 call, the frantic teenager told the dispatcher he was trapped inside his gold Honda Odyssey parked in the school’s parking lot.
Police drove around the parking lot but could not locate the minivan that Plush was trapped inside of.
Plush, who was being slowly crushed by the van’s third seat, cried and gasped for air. He knew he was dying as he pleaded with the dispatcher to send help.
Sources told the Cincinnati Enquirer that Plush leaned over the back of the van’s third seat, trying to reach tennis equipment with was down in the rear well.
Unable to reach the equipment, he leaned on the seat with his knee and the seat unexpectedly collapsed. The force of the downward motion sent Plush sprawling head first into the rear well and the third row seat folded backward on top of his chest, trapping him head down and his feet pointing up toward the ceiling.
In such a confined space, with the heavy seat on top of him, Plush was unable to free himself or push himself upright.
His iPhone was out of reach but he managed to call 911 using the Siri app on the phone. Since the phone was a distance away from him the dispatchers had a difficult time hearing him.
In the first 911 call, Plush said, “I probably don’t have much time left, so tell my mom that I love her if I die.”
In the second 911 call he cried and banged on the wall of the van, saying, “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.”
The police searched the parking lot a second time but did not see anyone in distress. One officer told the dispatcher he feared the call was a prank.
Amber Smith, who had complained about her job in a Facebook post on Friday, failed to give them a description of the Honda Odyssey van. She was suspended indefinitely.
In a May 2017 Facebook post, she wrote: “I’m always at work and working overtime. all it does (is) make us hate our job and hate the people that are off for months.”
Plush’s body was found later that night by his father after his mother, Jill, called police to report him missing.
“My son never came home from school,” she said in a 911 audio. “We thought he was at a tennis match. And he never came home from school.”