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Video: Tenn. Trooper Fired, Sued for Ignoring Crash

February 06, 2012  | 

VIDEO: Tenn. Trooper Ignored Crash

The Tennessee Highway Patrol has terminated one of its troopers, who failed to help a driver who had crashed during a pursuit.

Trooper Charles Van Morgan deliberately drove past Gordon Kyle Anito, 20, after Anito's wreck was captured on Morgan's dash cam on Nov. 26. Trooper Van Morgan didn't stop to help and didn't go back to the scene until another officer spotted the wrecked car in flames, reports the Knoxville News Sentinel.

When interviewed by highway patrol investigators, Trooper Van Morgan said, "I got out and got my fire extinguisher just to make it look good. I knew he was dead, but you, you got to do that for the media and everyone else. I was just trying to put on a show."

This week, Anito's parents filed a $10 million wrongful-death lawsuit against Morgan and the Tennessee Highway Patrol in federal court this week.


Comments (4)

Displaying 1 - 4 of 4

CT LEO RET @ 2/6/2012 6:50 PM

He has a lot of explaining to do to justify that. You can't really dispute the video. It's very sad. He looks like a veteran officer, no excuse for his actions.

Captain Integrity @ 2/6/2012 10:09 PM

I can not understand why a veteran officer would pass by an accident. If you review the full video on knoxnews.com it does seem that there is no question of his concern for the occupant of the vehicle, the comments that he made to himself during his efforts to extinguish the blaze by approaching the flame engulfed vehicle with his fire extinguisher. Yes, I will agree it was probably for show at that point as it seemed the passenger compartment of the vehicle was in flames; it would seem at that point the efforts would be futile. I have been in numerous police chases in my 30 years and at the speeds we must drive at to gain on a vehicle we often develop tunnel vision. There is a lot of signage fencing and structure prior to the site of the crash. This may have proved to be a distraction to the trooper. 14.5 feet is not far but I was not driving that pursuit and was not looking at what the trooper was seeing that late night. I hope that he fairs the lawsuit well, I do not feel that it is a valid case in any light, but given the ME's findings it does not have merit for trial.

Adam @ 2/10/2012 7:19 AM

I am still trying to figure out why he drove past the accident. I agree I wasn't there and I didn't see what the trooper was seeing. But I have never drove past an accident even outside my jurisdiction. You stop and render aid even if you know the passangers are dirt bags. Nothing says you have to jump into a fully ingulfed car try to save someone but put the show on earlier.

dana @ 6/11/2012 12:43 PM

"To serve and protect" huh? Looks more like "To serve and neglect!" That is dfinately a criminal act, how can you drive by and not help someone in a burning vehicle! I mean was giving someone a ticket more important! I hope the family gets the money and the officer goes to prison where he belongs! " Serve and Protect" my ass!

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