NewsLocal NewsHamilton CountyCincinnati


No liftgate recall on Honda Odyssey minivan where Seven Hills student was trapped, died

Posted at 10:52 AM, Apr 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-12 17:36:27-04

CINCINNATI -- Police are trying to unravel the tragic circumstances that trapped a 16-year-old Seven Hills' student inside a 2004 Honda Odyssey, killing him Tuesday afternoon in the school parking lot.

Rumors that a defective liftgate on the minivan may have fallen and trapped Kyle Plush inside don't check out, according to 9 On Your Side Consumer Reporter John Matarese.

"The only recalls I am finding for this particular year are for air bags and transmission issues," Matarese said, citing information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. "I find no recalls for seat issues or liftgate issues."

RELATED: Boy killed in Seven Hills parking lot was 'great kid' failed by 911 system, uncle says

According to AutoWeek, Honda recalled nearly 46,000 Odyssey minivans from the 2008 and 2009 model years for defective struts that could cause the tailgate to close unexpectedly. Two injuries were reported in 2012, leading to the recall.

In a separate Odyssey recall, Honda reported that minivans from 2011 through 2017 model years had second-row seats that could tip forward unexpectedly during a braking event. That also does not apply to Plush's situation.

"Our hearts go out to the victim’s family during this difficult time," Honda spokesman Chris Martin wrote Thursday afternoon in an email. Although police initially reported the van had been a 2002 model, Martin confirmed it had been a 2004. 

Neither edition of the car had ever been subject to a seat-related recall.

Plush's first call to 911 came in at 3:16 p.m. Tuesday. Officers arrived on scene at 3:26 p.m., but were unable to locate the teenager, according to 911 incident logs. 

"A further review of all communications records has prompted the Cincinnati Police Department to initiate a full procedural and technical review of all calls received by the Emergency Communications Section and associated dispatch recordings related to this incident," wrote Lt. Stephen Saunders in a news release.

Nick Francis, director of Experiential Learning at Seven Hills School, said in a 911 call a security guard contacted him and told him to call 911 because they found a kid in his car. Francis told the dispatcher he wasn’t at the school, but they had been “missing a kid.”

“I got a call from a security guy there because we were trying to find this kid, and he just all of a sudden called me, 'Nick we found him. Call 911, he's in his car,’” Francis told the dispatcher.

City Councilwoman Amy Murray, whose child also attends Seven Hills, also promised a full investigation into the incident on Thursday on WLW. She called it a "sad, sad day." 

WCPO will update this story as more information becomes available.

WCPO is not publishing Plush's 911 calls due to their graphic, disturbing nature and out of respect to his family.