Kyle Plush, 16, died of asphyxiation on Tuesday after becoming pinned under a seat in a minivan and pleading with dispatchers in a pair of 911 calls

By Char Adams
April 12, 2018 05:45 PM
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A 16-year-old Ohio teen died of asphyxiation on Tuesday after becoming pinned by a folding seat in a minivan while trying to grab his tennis equipment from the back of the vehicle, PEOPLE confirms.

A spokesperson with the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office confirmed the death to PEOPLE, noting that Kyle Plush’s body was found in the van after he died of “asphyxiation due to chest compression.” His death has been ruled accidental.

In a pair of 911 calls, Plush reportedly pleaded with dispatchers to send help as he lay stuck under the rear bench of his minivan in the parking lot at Seven Hills School’s Hillsdale campus, authorities said in a Thursday press conference. When Plush climbed to the back seat and reached into the hatch for his tennis gear, the seat flipped onto him.

“I’m trapped inside my gold Honda Odyssey van. In the … parking lot of Seven Hills Hillsdale … Send officers immediately I’m almost dead,” he said in the call at around 3:16 p.m., the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. According to WCPO, he added: “I can’t hear you … I need help, I’m gonna die here.”

Credit: Cincinnati Police

However, an official said during the press conference that “there was some trouble on the line” and the dispatcher was unable to hear Plush clearly. Cincinnati police and a Hamilton County sheriff’s deputy looked for the teen in the area, but were unable to find him, officials said.

The deputy told an operator that he saw only one van in the parking lot, but saw no one inside, officials said during the press conference.

At around 8 p.m. a classmate told Plush’s family that the teen didn’t show up for a scheduled tennis match, Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac said during the press conference.

The family then tracked Plush’s location using an app on his cell phone. They then contacted authorities and went to the parking lot where they found Plush inside “not breathing and unresponsive.”

Credit: Cincinnati Police

Police and fire units were called to the scene, and medical officials were unable to revive the boy.

Representatives for The Seven Hills School in Cincinnati and Honda have yet to return PEOPLE’s requests for comment.

Isaac said that the dispatcher who received Plush’s second 911 call, Amber Smith, failed to provide the necessary information Plush told her in the call. She has been placed on administrative leave.

“This was a horrific tragedy. We share in their heartbreak around this,” Isaac said. “Police officers, firefighters and even emergency personnel, you do this because they want to help.”

Officials have launched an internal investigation into the incident.