Pupil ‘crushed to death by seat’ in van outside Ohio school
A 16-year-old boy who pleaded with police to rescue him from being crushed by a folding seat in a van has died.
Lying trapped in his vehicle parked outside his school in Ohio, Kyle Plush told 911 operators “Send officers immediately. I’m almost dead.”
“I probably don’t have much time left, so tell my mom that I love her if I die,” he said on Tuesday afternoon.
It is not clear how it happened – a coroner ruled the death accidental by “asphyxia caused by chest compression”.
There was no evidence of foul play, the coroner added, and the police said drugs were not involved.
The boy first called 911 on Tuesday around 15:00 local time (20:00GMT) to say he was trapped inside his gold-coloured Honda Odyssey in the car park of the Seven Hills School, which he had been attending.
“Help, help, help. I’m in desperate need of help,” the boy says, according to audio of the call which was released by emergency officials.
He called police at least one more time to tell them that “this is not a joke”.
Local media report that the boy was apparently unable to hold his phone with his hands, and at several points tried to use the Apple “Siri” voice commands.
At one point the 911 operator tried to call the teenager’s phone, but it went to voicemail.
Responding officers were not able to locate the boy’s vehicle, and he was discovered five hours later by his father.
A night shift worker for the school, who was with the boy’s father, called police to say Kyle appeared to be “turned over in the seat and stuck there”.
“He’s been there for a while,” the worker added.
Cincinnati City Councilwoman Amy Murray, whose child also attends Seven Hills, has promised a full investigation into the tragic incident.
Police say they have ordered a “full procedural and technical review” of the incident to check that proper procedures were followed.
“This matter is very disturbing,” Cincinnati city manager Harry Black told the Cincinnati Enquirer.
“If there are deficiencies on the part of the 911 center operations, my mandate is to fix whatever needs to be fixed.”
A Seven Hills statement said Kyle was “a young man of keen intelligence, good humour, and great courage, and this whole community feels this loss very deeply”.
According to Cincinnati.com, last year Honda recalled 900,000 Honda Odysseys from the years 2011-2017 because there was an issue with second-row seats folding forward if not probably latched down.
It is unclear if Kyle’s van – which was a 2002 model – would have been subject to any recalls.
Honda says that they have received 46 reports of minor injuries related to the issue, the website reports.