16-year-old Kyle Plush was reaching into the back of his Honda Odyssey to get his tennis equipment, when the chair collapsed backward, pinning him in the cargo area. He was able to activate Siri, and dial 911 around 3 pm, hoping to call for help.
His voice was gasping, and he was crying for help, but it was hard for the operator to hear much of what was said. What you could hear clearly, however, was Kyle’s description of his van, and where he was located.
911 then dispatched a police officer to the scene. When the officer was unable to locate the gold Honda Odyssey in the school parking lot, he tried to call Kyle back.
When the phone call went unanswered, they decided that the phone call must have been a prank and left. Kyle was determined to keep fighting, and when they failed to save him, he called 911 once more.
This time, a different operator, Amber Smith, answered the call. In the 911 recording, you can hear loud banging and heavy breathing as he struggles to breathe. Kyle told the operator, “This is not a joke … I am trapped inside a gold Honda Odyssey van in the parking lot of Seven Hills … Send officers immediately. I’m almost dead.”
Smith never passed the information along to an officer to get help. Around 9 pm that evening, Kyle’s mom called 911, saying that he never returned home from school and they needed help finding him.
A short time later, Kyle’s father found him trapped in the third-row bench seat. When paramedics arrived, they pronounced Kyle dead. According to the coroner who performed his autopsy, “accidental asphyxia caused by chest compression.”
The second 911 operator, Amber Smith, has been placed on administrative leave following the incident for not passing along the information to responders. She has reportedly posted on her personal Facebook about her job in the past, and how her co-workers make her “hate our job”, the most recent post being last Friday.
Honda has issued a statement about the death, and have confirmed that there have been “no seat-related recalls affecting the 2004 Honda Odyssey.”
Please pray for the family of Kyle, as they face this truly horrific loss. He will be sorely missed by his family, friends, and all who were blessed enough to have the chance to get to know him.
This is a horrible story, and we know that sometimes we need a reminder of the good in the world at a time like this, so be sure to check out the video below!