Teen Crushed by Folding Rear Seat in Honda Odyssey
An Ohio teenager died Tuesday after becoming stuck in the cargo area of a 2004 Honda Odyssey minivan. Early evidence suggests the teen became stuck after the third-row bench seat collapsed and folded into the storage section, a popular feature in Odyssey minivans which is meant to allow for more floor room.
Communication Failures by Dispatcher Contributed to Teen’s Death
According to USA Today, 16-year-old Kyle Plush was reaching to retrieve tennis equipment from the back his 2004 Honda Odyssey when the third-row seat flipped backward and into the rear well. The force of that motion and the weight of the seat trapped Plush upside down with his head in the rear well and his legs in the air, against the minivan’s back hatch
The weight of the seat combined with Plush’s body position was enough to restrict his ability to expand his chest and breathe. He died of asphyxia by chest compression.
FOX News reports that after becoming trapped, Plush made two calls to 911 using the voice-activated Siri function on his iPhone. Plush can be hear telling the 911 dispatcher that he is inside a gold Honda Odyssey van in the parking lot of Seven Hills, the high school he attended, and informing the dispatcher that he was “almost dead.”
Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac lsaac told reporters that the information about the make and model of the vehicle was not relayed to officers. In later reordering, responding officers can be heard saying they had checked vehicles in the area, but did not find anything and left the scene.
Plush was found dead roughly six hours later by a family member.
Nearly 1 Million Odysseys Previously Recalled for Seat Defects
While Honda says there is no recall in connection involving the third-row seats of 2004 Honda Odysseys, more than 900,000 Odyssey minivans were recalled in November after Honda Motor Co. received 46 reports of injuries caused by second-row seats tipping forward.
Similar to third-row seats, the second-row seats can be released from anchor points so that they can be moved to allow for increased floor space. Honda warned consumers that if a second-row seat is not properly latched after adjusting it side-to-side or reinstalling a removed seat, the set can tip forward during moderate to heavy breaking resulting in an increased risk of injury to the occupant.
The recall affected 2011 to 2017 model year Odyssey minivans.
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