16-year-old Kyle Jacob Plush was in a desperate state when he called 911 from the backseat of his family’s minivan. He was pinned beneath the van’s foldable third row seat.
The young teen was trying to retrieve tennis equipment for an afternoon match when the seat flipped on top of him and started to suffocate him.
He was unable to reach for his phone and so he used Siri voice command to call 911, according to Cincinnati police Lt. Steve Saunders.
Kyle didn’t just call once, he called twice.
“Help, help, help I’m stuck in my van outside the Seven Hills parking lot. Help. I need help,” he said to the 911 dispatcher.
In the second call, he was able to give the dispatcher the make and model of the van. In addition, he asked the 911 operator to tell his mom that he loved her.
“I probably don’t have much time left, so tell my mom I love her if I die,” Kyle Jacob Plush said when he called 911 at about 3 p.m. Tuesday.
Police said they searched five different parking lots in pursuit of Kyle. They said they even found a vehicle that matched the description but didn’t see anything wrong inside of it.
Unfortunately, they weren’t able to find him in time. Kyle was found seven hours after his initial 911 call. He was no longer alive.
His desperate calls went unanswered, causing the Cincinnati Police Department to launch an investigation into the matter so that this same tragedy never happens again.
“This young man was crying out for help, we weren’t able to get that information to the officers on the scene and we need to find out why,” said Chief Eliot Isaac of the Cincinnati Police Department.
Listening to recordings from his 911 calls, it appears that Kyle and the dispatcher were unable to hear one another.
Dispatcher: Where are you?
Kyle: I can’t hear you, I’m in desperate need of help.
Dispatcher: What is the address?
Kyle: Help, help, help. I can’t hear you.
Dispatcher: Where are you?
Kyle: If you don’t send help I’m gonna die soon.
Local law enforcement was alerted following the first call.
“Officers responded to the area in an attempt to locate the vehicle. Based on the information relayed to the officers, efforts to locate the caller were unsuccessful,” Cincinnati police said.
There are seven parking lots that surround the school.
“I looked in a van and I didn’t see anybody in it,” the deputy told dispatchers.
“It was really hard to hear,” the operator told the deputy. “It was really a strange call.”
When no helped arrived, Kyle called 911 a second time. His voice was faint this time around.
“This is not a joke. This is not a joke. I’m trapped inside a gold Honda Odyssey van,” he said. You can hear banging noises in the background.
“I probably don’t have much time left. Tell my Mom I love her, if I die,” Kyle told the 911 operator.
The second call lasted 2.5 minutes, during which time the operator said nothing. The dispatcher who took the second call was placed on administrative leave.
It wasn’t until hours later, after nightfall, that Kyle’s mother called the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office and reported her son as missing.
“We thought he was at a tennis match and he never came home from school,” she said.
His parents used a phone locating app to determine his location – this led them to the school parking lot.
Sometime around 9pm, Kyle’s own father found his unresponsive son trapped beneath the third seat of the family minivan.
“He was stuck, looks like he was turned over in the seat, he’s stuck there. He’s been there for a while,” one caller said.
Preliminary autopsy findings stated the cause of death as asphyxia due to chest compression. Kyle’s death was ruled an accident. There is no evidence or suspicion of foul play or a drug overdose.
“The young man was trapped in the third row bench seat, and it is called positional asphyxiation. We are actively trying to identify experts to assist us in this investigation,” said Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters.
According to a heartfelt statement released by Seven Hills School: “Kyle joined the Seven Hills community in the sixth grade. He was a young man of keen intelligence, good humor and great courage, and this whole community feels this loss very deeply.”
Mercy Montessori, where Kyle attended school as a young kid, also released a statement that said: “Our Mercy hearts are heavy.”