Kyle Plush was trapped inside his minivan in his high school parking lot when he was able to make a frantic call to 911, telling the operator he was unable to breathe and making a tragic plea — “Tell my mom I love her.”
It would take police several hours to find the boy’s body. As the Chicago Tribune reported, police are now investigating how an officer was not able to see the boy’s body when checking the parking lot and the “aloof” 911 operator who handled the call has been placed on administrative leave.
The 16-year-old sophomore made the frantic 911 call on Tuesday afternoon, saying he was trapped in his minivan in the parking lot of Seven Hills School in Cincinnati. The teen was struggling to breathe as he asked for help.
Kyle Plush was able to give exact details of where he was trapped before making the heartbreaking plea to the 911 operator.
“I need help. I’m going to die here,” Plush said. “I probably don’t have much time left so tell my mom that I love her if I die. This is not a joke. This is not a joke. I’m trapped inside my gold Honda Odyssey van in the sophomore parking lot of Seven Hills. Send officers immediately. I’m almost dead.”
What happened next has drawn considerable controversy. As the Chicago Tribune noted, the 911 operator relayed the message to a sheriff’s deputy but they discussed that the call may have been a prank. The officer then checked out the school parking lot but reported that they did not see the teen in or around the van.
Six hours later, Kyle’s parents called 911 to report him missing after one of the teen’s friends said he never showed up to a tennis match. Kyle’s father drove to the school parking lot, where he found the boy dead. Authorities believe that Kyle had tried to climb over the back seat of the minivan to reach his tennis racquet when the seat flipped toward the back hatch, pinning him upside down and unable to breathe.
The actions of police and the 911 operator are now under scrutiny. Radar Online noted that the operator, identified as Amber Smith, was “aloof” throughout the call and left long pauses while Kyle Plush pleaded for help. She has since been placed on administrative leave.
Cincinnati police and the Hamilton County prosecutor’s office are now investigating Kyle Plush’s death to see what went wrong, including any mishaps in the 911 center.