The 16-year-old was reaching for tennis equipped in the van's trunk when the seat flipped.
A 16-year-old boy has died after getting pinned behind the third-row seat of his family's 2004 Honda Odyssey minivan. The tragic event occurred on Tuesday in Cincinnati, Ohio.
According to authorities, Kyle Plush was reaching over the third-row seat in his Odyssey minivan to retrieve some tennis equipment from the trunk when the bench seat suddenly folded, flipping him upside-down and pinning him beneath the seat in the trunk area. Somehow Plush managed to call 911 not once but twice, but the 16-year-old died of asphyxia due to chest compression.
Plush's death has been ruled accidental, but there are still many questions to be answered. The first police officer arrived on scene about 10 minutes after Plush's first 911 call, made at 3:15pm, and reported seeing only one minivan in the parking lot. The officer looked inside the van but reported that he "didn't see anyone," and kept looking around, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. The officer told the dispatcher that he had an argument with a woman in a van earlier that day and wondered if she was prank-calling 911.
Plush was able to make a second 911 call at 3:35pm and told the operator, "I'm trapped inside my gold Honda Odyssey van. In the (inaudible) parking lot of Seven Hills Hillsdale... Send officers immediately. I'm almost dead." Authorities have confirmed the details of that second call were not relayed to officers. The dispatcher that received Plush's call has been put on administrative leave.
A family member found Plush at about 9pm and called 911. One of the responding officers told dispatch, "We had a run there earlier today. We think somebody is playing pranks." The officers found Plush dead in the trunk of the van.
An investigation regarding the police's response is already underway, and we suspect federal authorities will also be scrutinizing the third-row seat of the Odyssey minivan. The Odyssey's third-row seat requires a lever or strap to be pulled to fold it into the trunk area. It remains unknown at this time if Plush accidentally activated the seat's folding mechanism or if there was some kind of mechanical failure. It's also possible that the bench might not have been locked in place properly.