911 call operator on leave in Cincinnati after teen dies in van

Kyle Plush death: 5 things learned during Monday’s hearing

Cincinnati teen died after being crushed my minivan seat, despite calling 911 twice for help.

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

Appearing at a Cincinnati City Council meeting on the response to his son’s death, Ron Plush promised to help improve the city 911 system but also said he would be asking difficult questions along the way.

Plush found the body of his son, Kyle Plush, on April 10 inside the 2004 Honda Odyssey in a parking lot near his school nearly six hours after Kyle's first 911 call. A coroner says he died of asphyxiation from his chest being compressed. It is suspected that the foldaway rear seat flipped over as he reached for tennis gear in the back. 

>> How did the Cincinnati teen become trapped, suffocate in van seat?

“Kyle will give us the strength and guidance to get the job done,” Ron Plush said.

Mayor John Cranley opened Monday's meeting by saying the city failed in its response to the 911 call. 

"In all cases we can do better, we should do better, we must do better," Cranley said. 

>> TIMELINE: 911 calls, officers’ response to Kyle Plush death

Cincinnati police chief Eliot Isaac presented the results of an internal investigation before the City Council’s law and safety committee, providing details of the 911 call and the police response.

>> Councilman apologizes for comments to Plush family amid calls for resignation 

Among the information released Monday: 

  1. The city’s computer assisted-dispatching system experienced difficulties throughout the call. 
  2. Kyle’s phone was in his pocket as he called, and he was using “Siri” caller technology to call 911. Kyle was not able to give back and forth answers to a dispatcher, and the phone disconnected his call. 
  3. The automated 911 response overrode Kyle’s initial comments, which weren’t heard by the dispatcher. 
  4. Officers initially believed they were searching for an elderly woman locked in her vehicle needing help. 
  5. Officers weren’t given information from the initial call 911 that someone was banging and screaming for help.

Isaac said officers determined they could search a bigger area and see more by staying in their cruiser.  

>> Who was Kyle Plush? Community remembers teen crushed to death by van seat

The boy’s aunt, also attending Monday’s meeting, noted that Kyle Plush’s voicemail included his name, and was not a generic message.  

If authorities knew the name “Kyle” and that the call was from someone near a school, they had enough to do a proper search minutes after the call was received, said Jodi Schwind.  

Council members also questioned why officers didn’t just search all the vans in the parking lot that day.  

>> Local tennis team honors Kyle Plush

“Kyle did everything he should have done, everything a mom, a dad, would tell their child to do, he did,” said councilwoman Amy Murray. “And he was failed horribly.”  

The Hamilton County sheriff’s office, which also dispatched a deputy that day, is also investigating, as is the county Prosecutor’s Office.  

Council members scheduled a meeting May 29 for police to provide answer to questions raised Monday.

Family of Kyle Plush storms out of Cincinnati council meeting

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