The pain of losing a child is one that no family should have to experience. However, many children lose their lives each year in accidents caused by someone else’s negligence. One Ohio family is dealing with the loss of a 16-year-old boy after a tragic accident involving a minivan. The boy’s family has filed a wrongful death suit against the city of Cincinnati and city officials, seeking reform of the city’s 911 system, as well as compensatory and punitive damages.
In April 2018, the boy was reportedly inside his minivan that was parked in a school parking lot, when he reportedly tried to retrieve his cell phone. The boy apparently became pinned between a third-row seat and the floor, after the seat collapsed on him. The boy apparently called 911 twice that day. When he called the first time, the 911 dispatcher had trouble hearing him because he could not reach his phone, which was in his pocket. The dispatcher apparently misclassified the boy’s call in the system, referring to it as “unknown trouble,” even though she could hear him screaming. Due to this misclassification, officers were dispatched to the scene, instead of fire and rescue, who had superior vehicle mapping equipment.
The officers arrived on the scene within 10 minutes, according to the boy’s family, they never left their vehicles. When the officers were present, the boy apparently made a second call to 911, describing his van to the dispatcher. The dispatcher apparently used hearing impaired technology, but before she started using this technology, the boy was heard saying ‘help me.’ The officers, not noticing any problems, left the scene.
The boy apparently died due to asphyxiation and was found hours later, after his father went to search for him after he did not come home from his tennis match.
The family hopes that by filing this wrongful death lawsuit, no other family will suffer the way they have and that calling 911 ensures that help will show up immediately.