No charges in death of teen trapped in minivan

State News

No charges will be filed in the Kyle Plush death investigation, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said, but city leaders vowed to improve the 911 system that failed the 16-year-old boy.

Deters said Thursday that “no criminal charges are appropriate and, therefore, none will be filed.”

The announcement follows a lengthy investigation into the death of Plush and the 911 system.

“My office has thoroughly reviewed the Cincinnati Police Department and Hamilton County Sheriff’s investigation into this incident. Additionally, we reviewed the 21CP Solutions ‘Report on the Response of the Cincinnati Police Department into the Death of Kyle Plush’ and the MissionCriticalPartners ‘Incident Report Review of the Cincinnati Emergency Communications Center’s Response to Kyle Plush 911 calls,'” Deters said in a statement.

Despite no criminal charges, city leaders vowed to make changes to Cincinnati’s 911 system during a special meeting of the Law and Public Safety Committee at Cincinnati City Hall.

It’s been nearly eight months since Plush became trapped in his car, and died waiting on help to arrive.

On April 10, the 16-year-old Seven Hills student went to his van to retrieve a tennis racquet from his 2004 Honda Odyssey in his school’s parking lot. It’s suspected that the vehicle’s foldaway rear seat flipped over and pinned him as he reached for tennis gear in the back. A coroner said Plush died of asphyxiation because his chest was being compressed.

He made two calls to 911 and talked with dispatchers, but help never came.

His calls were made 19 minutes apart, believed to have been activated using iPhone’s Siri feature. In the second call, Kyle said he was afraid he wouldn’t see his parents again, and told the 911 operator to tell his mother he loves her.

Police admitted publicly that 911 operators had GPS coordinates showing Kyle’s location. And even though authorities responded to the area, they did not find the 16-year-old inside of his van.

Plush was found dead by his father nearly six hours after his first call.

The investigation has cast doubt on the 911 system, and many – including the parents of the teen – said the system failed Kyle that day.

One week after losing Kyle, parents Ron and Jill Plush were sitting in front of City Council trying to understand every failure that happened that night and trying to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“We have to make sure things change,” Jill Push said.

“What actually happened: That evening I drove to the school and found Kyle. Two days later, my family was planning Kyle’s visitation, funeral and burial,” Ron Plush said. “This can’t happen to another family. We need to continue to identify all the failures that day and work toward solutions.”

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