An Ohio dispatcher who failed to report Kyle Plush’s frantic second 911 call has said she wasn’t able to document the teen’s pleas for help because her computer froze, according to reports.
Amber Smith, the dispatcher briefly placed on leave after 16-year-old Plush was found dead in a minivan last week, was expected to return to work on Tuesday — but not as a dispatcher.
“She will not be taking calls, but she’ll be working in another administrative capacity,” Cincinnati police spokesperson Tiffaney Hardy tells PEOPLE. “She will return, but not in call-taker capacity.”
Plush was found dead in a Honda Odyssey minivan in the parking lot at Seven Hills School’s Hillsdale campus that night. Authorities said the teen became pinned under the rear bench of the van while trying to retrieve his tennis gear from the back seat.
Smith was quickly placed on administrative leave after officials determined that she failed to provide necessary information Plush told her in his second call, Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac said during a press conference.
“Police officers, firefighters and even our emergency dispatch personnel, you get into this because you want to help,” Isaac said then. “And something went wrong here. And we need to find out why we weren’t able to provide that help.”
Now, Smith is reportedly claiming technical difficulties are to blame, according to WCPO, citing internal documents. Smith said she was unable to hear Plush as he described where he was and the trouble he was in. She said her computer froze “around that same time,” which prevented her from properly documenting the call, WCPO reports.
In one call, Plush simply said he was stuck in a van outside the school. In the follow-up call, he gave Smith specific details so officers could locate 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. And according to WCPO, he added: “I can’t hear you … I need help, I’m gonna die here.”
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Records show that Smith texted Plush and called him twice after the call but got no response, WCPO reports. Ultimately, Plush’s family found the boy 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.”
Plush died of “asphyxiation due to chest compression,” the Hamilton County Coroner determined. His death has been ruled accidental.
The family held a funeral for Plush on Monday. Days earlier, on Friday, they remembered the teen in a statement as a “remarkable son.”
“Anyone who ever encountered Kyle knows he lit up a room with his larger than life, funny, smart and positive personality with inclusion of all,” they said in the statement to the Enquirer.
“His friends know him as a leader with incredible potential that kept them laughing with his wit and innovative mind. He is unforgettable and we, as a family, will make sure he is never forgotten.”