Headlines were made over the heartbreaking death of 16-year-old Kyle Plush in April 10, 2018.
Plush was reportedly inside a van and attempted to reach over the third-row seat to get his tennis equipment. The seat, which was designed to fold up, flipped back and ended up pinning the teen in such a way he couldn’t free himself.
The young man would never free himself from the Honda Odyssey, as the predicament he was in caused him to suffocate due to high amounts of pressure on his chest. He did manage to call emergency services, alerting them of his location in a school parking lot and telling them his call was not a joke.
The teen said: “I am trapped inside my gold Honda Odyssey van in the parking lot of the Seven Hills…Send officers immediately. I’m almost dead.”
The boy also asked the operator to tell his mother he loved her in the event he didn’t make it out. But another layer of heartbreak has been added to the already rough incident, as body camera footage show the two responding Cincinnati police officers never left their patrol cars to investigate the minivan.
Instances of police not doing their jobs have gained more notoriety in recent months. This incident brings to mind memories of the Florida school shooting where the armed school officer reportedly hid behind a wall instead of going inside to engage the shooter.
That officer ended up being admonished by many in his department and many individuals throughout the country. His home was reportedly guarded by officers following the incident. 17 people ended up dying in the shooting, leaving questions regarding how many lives could’ve been saved had the officer acted instead of hid.
But police officers responding to the 911 call regarding Plush’s sad fate in the van have a defense. They said Amber Smith, the operator, never relayed the information to them.
The four-year operator returned from administrative leave recently and told supervisors a technical glitch stopped her from putting the information in the system. She had reportedly vented about her job on social media just days before, complaining about having to work too many hours.
Officers reportedly drove around the area for about 11 minutes and did not check all the school’s parking lots according to security footage. Neither officer was placed on administrative leave, while a spokesperson for the Cincinnati Police Department said the footage shown was all that was recorded.
The boy’s body was ultimately discovered by his father about five hours after the call. Honda released a statement offering condolences about the situation but no specifics on how the accident could’ve happened.
As for the city’s 911 center, it’s had five different directors over the course of four years and a budget cut two years prior. Local emergency services have caught a lot of criticism over the incident and have vowed to make improvements to stop a similar situation from happening again.