‘Tell my mom that I love her if I die,’ teen pleads as van seat fatally crushes him

CINCINNATI — A 16-year-old high school student died after his van seat fatally crushed him. Kyle Plush made two calls to 9-1-1, begging for help. In the second call, Plush told the  dispatcher it wasn’t a joke and asked the dispatcher to tell his mother he loved her if he died.


  • Kyle Plush, 16, called 9-1-1 approximately 3 p.m. Tuesday
  • Police dispatched but couldn't find van or teen
  • Plush called 9-1-1 again, said he didn't have much time left
  • Plush's parents found him deceased in his van at 10 p.m. in Seven Hills High School parking lot
  • Hamilton County Prosecutor launching investigation
  • Dispatcher put on leave

UPDATE @ 3:35 p.m.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters is launching a full investigation to determine what exactly happened that led to the death of a 16-year-old Seven Hills student in the school parking lot Tuesday afternoon, WCPO-TV reports.

"The young man was trapped in the third row bench seat, and it is called positional asphyxiation," Deters said. "We are actively trying to identify experts to assist in us in this investigation."

The 911 operator who took the second call from Kyle Plush Tuesday afternoon has been placed on administrative leave because she didn't pass on the make, model or color of Plush's minivan to officers who responded, Police Chief Eliot Isaac said Thursday.

"Something went wrong here, and we need to find out why were weren't able to provide that help," Isaac said.

Plush, 16, was found dead in a minivan in the Seven Hills School parking lot Tuesday night. That afternoon, he had called 911 twice asking for help. During that second call, Plush said he was trapped in a gold Honda Odyssey in the Seven Hills School parking lot. But the responding officers never knew because the call taker, Amber Smith, never told them, according to Issac.


A full procedural and technical review of all calls received by the Cincinnati Police Department’s Emergency Communications Section was initiated Thursday after a 16-year-old died in his school parking lot after becoming trapped in his van.

Kyle Jacob Plush, 16, called 9-1-1 from the Seven Hills High parking lot, panicking Tuesday afternoon, saying he was trapped inside a van.

In the 3-minute phone call, Plush gasped and cried repeatedly for help as he struggled to communicate with the 911 operator, according to our partners at WCPO in Cincinnati.

“I probably don’t have much time left, so tell my mom I love her if I die,” he said.

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The call ended, and when the 911 operator attempted to call him back, there was no answer. Officers responded, but couldn’t find anyone trapped in a van, according to WCPO.

In part of the 9-1-1 call an officer says, "I just looked in a van over there. I didn't see anybody in it.”

It’s not clear if the officer found the right van or the wrong van.

When police could find no sign of the teen, a separate incident occuring in the same area lead law enforcement to believe the call might be a hoax.

Plush called 911 again.

“This is not a joke,” he said. “I am trapped inside a gold Honda Odyssey van in the parking lot of Seven Hills...send officers immediately. I’m almost dead.”

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Later that evening, around 10 p.m., a family member discovered Plush dead in the van.  The Hamilton County Coroner said Plush died of “asphyxia caused by chest compression” and ruled the death an accident.

Something pressed so hard against Push’s chest that he suffocated, but officials have not said what.

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