How did an Ohio teen asphyxiate in his own car, and why couldn't police find him after 911 call

How did an Ohio teen asphyxiate in his own car, and why couldn't police find him after 911 call

CINCINNATI, OH (WOIO) - The first call to 911 from 16-year-old Kyle Plush is haunting.

He's trapped in his car but the dispatcher is having trouble hearing him.

Dispatcher: "Where are you?"

Kyle Plush: "If you don't send help I'm gonna die soon."

Then silence for three minutes and the phone disconnects.

When the dispatcher calls back three times there's no answer.

How it happened

According to Police Plush was reaching over the third-row seat in his 2004 Honda Odyssey in the school parking lot to get his tennis equipment.

The seat collapsed into the storage area and Kyle was pinned upside down.

Police were dispatched to the school but because Plush didn't give the make or model of the vehicle they couldn't find him.

20 minutes after his first call, Kyle calls 911 a second time and is connected to a different dispatcher.

Kyle Plush: "This is not a joke. I'm trapped inside a gold Honda Odyssey van."

Before the call ends, Kyle tells the operator:

Kyle Plush: "I probably don't have much time left. tell my mom I love her, if I die."

Why couldn't police find the car based on the cell phone?

Somehow the information about the kind of vehicle he's in is never relayed to the officers at the school by the second dispatcher.

Cincinnati police are investigating why and say there may have been a technical problem with the dispatcher's headset.

Kyle was found six hours later by his family who pinged his phone.

The Hamilton County Coroner said he died of asphyxiation, because his chest was compressed.

The Mayor of Cincinnati has already come forward to admit the dispatch system they use is out of date and part of the problem in this case.

Cleveland 19 Reporter Dan DeRoos wanted to know if this could happen here in Northeast Ohio.

Follow Dan DeRoos on Facebook and Twitter. Have a question you want him to answer? Email him at

DeRoos spoke with a manager of the Cuyahoga Emergency Communications System (CECOMS) who handles all cell phone 911 calls in the county.

When a call comes into CECOMS a dispatcher is shown a map of the general area of where the call is coming from based on cell phone towers. It's not exact but pretty accurate according to CECOMS staff.

If they can't get an exact location from the caller, a dispatcher can work with cell phone companies, and within five minutes get a ping showing a more exact location.

As an example, this weekend, a ping got officers a location within 46 feet of a person calling for medical help who couldn't speak to dispatchers.

Recall on the 2004 Honda Odyssey?

Cincinnati Police have contacted Honda who said there was a recall on the 2002 Odyssey for a problem with the second row of seats but not the third row.

That recall did not include the 2004 Odyssey that Plush died in.

On Friday The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration put out a statement that said they have requested all information on the accident from Cincinnati Police to try and determine how it happened, and if this is a potential problem for all Odysseys with a third-row seat.

Copyright 2018 WOIO. All rights reserved.