THP: Trooper deliberately drove past fatal wreck after chase by Matt Lakin

Published On February 6, 2012 | By CopBlock | Articles


The trooper grabbed his gear and ran to the blazing car — not to save a life, but to put on a show.

“I got out and got my fire extinguisher just to make it look good,” Trooper Charles Van Morgan told Tennessee Highway Patrol investigators. “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.”

The wreck cost driver Gordon Kyle Anito his life, and the show could cost Morgan his job.

THP officials concluded Morgan deliberately drove past the Nov. 26 crash in North Knox County that killed Anito, 20, after a chase, didn’t stop to help and didn’t go back to the scene until another officer spotted the wrecked car in flames.

Anito’s parents filed a $10 million wrongful-death lawsuit against Morgan and the THP in federal court this week. THP officials moved to fire Morgan but initially wouldn’t turn over the paperwork.

Officials finally released to the media the letter recommending Morgan’s termination Wednesday night.

The letter reveals Morgan’s bosses found no fault in his chase of Anito, who Morgan had clocked driving south on Emory Road at nearly 80 mph in a 40 mph zone just before 3:30 a.m. But video from his cruiser shows Morgan driving past Anito’s 2005 Subaru Impreza crumpled against a tree in a well-lit spot fewer than 15 feet from the road.

That video and the trooper’s contradictory stories led the THP’s commander to leave Nashville and personally visit the crash scene.

“It is my determination that Trooper Morgan did indeed see the crash scene and chose to ignore it,” Col. Tracy Trott wrote.

Morgan couldn’t have saved Anito, who died “instantly,” Trott wrote. The trooper didn’t know that when he drove by in silence.

“I’ve lost sight of the vehicle,” Morgan radioed to dispatch. “I’m going to terminate (the chase).”

Smoke had already begun to billow from the wrecked car. Trott, who drove the same route three times at the same speed under the same conditions, concluded Morgan couldn’t possibly have missed such a sight.

Read entire article my Matt Lakin HERE.

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  • DrRockzo(The RocknRoll Clown)

    Well, at least this one P.O.S. cop got fired for his wrongful actions, I hope and pray that he never lands another job in Law Enforcement anywhere…

  • PSOSGT

    Took me about 5 minutes to find the accident. Had to rewind and fast forward to find it. Trooper should’ve stopped. Department thinks the same and it looks like they are going to fire him.

    As to the 10 Million dollar lawsuit…. Driver died instantly so whether he stopped or not, driver would still be dead. So I don’t see how the family should be awarded a wrongful death suit for the trooper not stopping.. And it was him that was running from the police..

    NOW…. if there was a violation of the department pursuit policy I can see that.

    And When I watch the vid, I COULD see him not seeing the accident. YEAH, we all can see it now in slow motion and upon review. But going 80/40 chasing down a car you get tunnel vision and it happened at a y intersection. I could see any cop who’s lost the vehicle’s tail lights to be looking down both roads trying to figure out which road the suspect took. And he doesn’t really slow down and look till after the intersection.

    Based on the video alone, it’s a tough sell IMO to fire him. But the investigation and interviews seem to have resulted in more damning info.

  • Manuel Barkhau

    It’s hard to identify the wreck as such at 1:29, but it is clearly in view and would be recognizable to the driver and his slowing down suggests he did.

  • peter K

    ive read the whole story on injusticeverywhere,,, the cop wasnt goint that fast when he passed the car,,, the cruisers own system tells that he slowed almost to a stop when driving by the crash,,, he also had to slow down for a major bend in the road(wich is where i think the accident happened)so stop tryin to make excuses for this worthless peice of crap they call a cop,,,, plus he also called a lawyer befor he did anything

  • http://n/a Common Sense

    Sorry, I am gonna disagree with PSOSGT. I watched it and I clearly saw the wreck, but with hindsight being 20/20, I was looking for it also. Simply cause I saw it (an apparently his supervisor) does not mean he did. One could argue that he was looking out the window or at something else. I wonder what was written in the police report.

    Either way, the act of passing it, while showing a disregard for the driver, was not the cause of the crash. The driver, while fleeing at excessive speeds on winding roads, crashed his car, not the other way around. If the trooper has caused a collision then that would be different.

    The issue that will be forefront, will be his action prior to the crash, not after. Does his actions “shock the conscious of the court?” Annually, about 250-300 people killed (whether they be the driver of the fleeing vehicle, a passenger in that same vehicle or an innocent motorist) in police chases and with a recent USSC decision, the burden is on the ‘victim’ to show nearly gross negligence in a police crash.

    Lastly, the act of an officer calling an attorney, more then likely from their Union (if Tennessee has them) is not uncommon during ‘critical incidents’ where someone is seriously injured or killed. The police have the same rights as you, and remember, the trooper had been involved in a fatal crash the previous year. I can only assume he knew it wasn’t going to go well. I highly doubt this will make it to trial. The state will settle, perhaps around 2 million. The trooper will lose any arbitration but will not get charged criminally.

  • BluEyedDevil

    LOL, Listen to you two cops (common sense and PSOSGT) trying once again to make an excuse for one of your owns, at the very least incompetance at the very worst criminally and civilly liable behavior. At 1:28 in the video the car is on fire but not fully engulfed in flames. It is purely visible and outright in plain view. You would have to be a fucking moron to not notice. On that note, at 1:33 in the video the cop slows down. Now, it is apperant that at least there was an intent to investigate what was in plain view. Instead, the cop speeds up to chase NOTHING. Once again this proves that he was either VERY imcompetant and stupid or is criminally and civilly liable.
    PSOSGT, your argument that somehow this person was dead on impact is flawed at best. For one, you nor anyone else can tell that by this accident. I am a fireman and medic, I have seen people survive some horrific accidents without a scratch, I’m sure you have to. For you to say he died instantly is a flat out hyopthetical conjecture on your part. As for running from the police, that does not change this cops duty to a citizen, criminal or not!!! You know that and so do I. As for slow motion and tunnel vision, I watched this in real time and spotted it instantly, LOL, I mean give me a break. This cops actions after the fact also prove that he didn’t just have tunnel vision. He just chose to ignore it. It’s pretty evident by his slowing way down.
    Common Sense, I agree this was totally the drivers fault, having said that it was still the duty of this cop to at the very least make a reasonable effort to try and save this citizen, whether guilty or not, whether a criminal or not, whether or not D.O.A. This so called protector was at fault. I mean what do you cops get into civil service for anyway!? To fucking harass, oppress and blindly follow the orders tyrants and baby nazis or to help your fellow man. I work with a lot of your kind, and let me tell you, I think there are good ones but the thin blue line drags all of you down and the good ones should hang their heads in shame. Again, if you think your career points and arrest ratios will get you further in life, you are sadly mistaken. The shame alone would be enough for me to change professions but the same tyrants you work for will cut your throat just to watch you bleed. It’s a fact that police agencies are corrupt cesspools. And oh that pension, lol, it will taken from you incrementally.
    As for the police having the same rights as citizens is a little dishonest on your part. You know as well as I do that D.A.’s and judges give cops the benefit of the doubt all the time. Cops have more rights than the average citizen. MOST WILL FLAT OUT TELL YOU THAT. If this were a citizen accused of criminal behavior. The D.A. would have filed charges with in 24 hours. Issued a warrant for his arrest and would have sent the goon squad to capture, with violence if necessary, the perp.
    Lets face it you do it to yourselves. And why? Law enforcement in my and in many peoples views are set up for the protection of the few and not the many.

  • Common Sense

    I will counter with the comments from this site, where they quote chapter and verse that by USSC decision that the police owe no obligation to the individual, only the “public.” It’s merely a point for debate.

    What obligation to the driver did the trooper owe? It’s agreed that the driver was at fault, not the trooper for the crash. His policy violations I assume lead to his termination, but as far a criminal charges? I don’t know TN law but I dare say there is little in the way of charges that could be pressed against him. And no, I don’t justify the actions of all police, but when you get down the the facts, other the civil nature of a lawsuit, what’s left? It’s not as if the driver was handcuffed and being clubbed senseless. As i said, I would like to see the reports but it’s very doubtful this will actually make it to a the ears of a civil jury. And only as a matter of comment, the references to tyrants and nazis is 8th grade stuff.

  • fromjanesville2waukesha

    While “trying” to put out the fire it appears he’s aiming the extinguisher at the top of the flame as opposed to the base. I was in disbelief. He went crazy trying to get this guy and then seconds after the crash he calls it off. The autopsy did or will (not sure if it’s out yet) determine if the kid did in fact burn alive based on whether there is soot in the lungs. That is if enough of the body is left. Either way, he is a human disgrace. Seems like the ultimate contempt of cop retribution. And some of you “roll” with this thug.

  • BMFC

    Just for any of you that are still confused, the guy that died in the wreck was NOT the guy who was being chased. he probably got shoved or scared off the road when the evading car came by. HE WAS NOT RUNNING FROM THE POLICE. He was an innocent bystander.

  • PSOSGT

    Janesville. I saw that too. My question was, “was he even trained” on how to use it. That’s not the 1st time I’ve seen a cop use an extinguisher that way. Many people don’t know how to use them, and when they need them, they don’t have time to read the directions.

    And I’m not intending to defend this cop and say what he did was correct. As I stated the Internal investigation found enough cause to recommend his firing, so they obviously know more that what we do here. To me, it doesn’t look like he really slows down until after the crash. I showed this vid to 2 of my officers(without telling them what is was). Neither saw the wreck and had no idea what had happened. BOTH thought the car wrapped arround the tree was another car and not the fleeing car. I couldn’t see a cloud uf dust or dirt.

    And like common sense was saying.. USSC has made the determination that the risk lays in the lap of the driver of the fleeing vehicle as well as the responsibility and fault unless the police act with gross negligence. Which I don’t see here. Simply regurgitating USSC case law doesn’t equate to us saying the cop was right, just that the family shouldn’t win a lawsuit.

    ANd @BMFC “the wreck cost driver Gordon Kyle Anito his life”
    “The letter reveals Morgan’s bosses found no fault in his chase of Anito” He was the driver of the fleeing vehicle.

  • paschn

    False stories, “spin”….You’ll always find “shills” to confuse the issue or give a compliant, dumbed down culture the comfort they need to say it’s all right when the evidence states clearly it isn’t.
    Truth be known, these shills probably are instructed by their handlers to turn in a few hours overtime to pay for their loyal trolling.

    You see it from D.C. all the way down to the “crumb feeders” in Israeli trained cop shops.

    MIllions murdered in countries while teaching them “Democracy” and destroying their land for centuries by deliberately salting them, (and our own troops), with radiocative Depleted Uranium munitions, (violating international law on all levels). Their crimes? demmanding Gold or Euros for their oil and natural gas rather than the failing, FED RES destroyed U.S. dollar.

    http://www.brasschecktv.com/videos/the-middle-east/cia-death-squads-behind-syria-bloodbath-.html

    Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and soon Iran. All the while bringing our country down right bfore our eyes. These aren’t poor misled boys in blue simply doing their job. No one could carry a weapon/badge and be THAT stupid, could they?

    http://www.brasschecktv.com/videos/defending-civil-liberties/conspiracy-theory-with-jesse-ventura-the-banned-police-state-episode.html

    You’d be amazed what a person will do once he’s learned to tamper with what his own eyes/mind tell his conscience is wrong and/or immoral. ‘I’m just doing my job” or “I need this job” or “…just taking care of my family” or, more accurately, “I’m doing just fine, f**k you!”

    Arguably the best example of a Democratic society this world will ever see, the Roman Empire was able to withstand the “tribe” and remain intact for over 700 years. This sad nation has been limping along for less than 250 and thanks to “enemies foreign and DOMESTIC, it’s already rotting and falling apart.

    I wonder where they keep their little lists of all who can see and understand what has and will be happening that create/post at these sites? How they’ll begin the N.D.A.A. “roundup” when the word finally comes down from their handlers?

    It worked like a charm in Russia, Germany, Bosnia et al, it’ll sure as hell work here.

  • Common Sense

    You left out the word “nazi” in your rambling…

  • paschn

    Actually, using “Nazi” would be misleading and unfair to them. The Allies had already murdered more than the Nazis did by 1950. The +/- 1,700,000 Eisenhower killed AFTER the war sure helped.

    http://www.whale.to/b/eisenhower_h.html

    http://www.rense.com/general19/flame.htm

    Bet YOU liked “Ike”. Until U.S. magazines exposed it in I believe the ’80’s, It had been succesfully blamed on the Russians and Bolsheviks. Wow, talk about propaganda experts, eh? Amazing what can be accomplished with willing idiots, but then, I’m sure you boys are well aware of that.

  • dash cam

    dash cam new world order 8

  • huh?

    this cop is a doctor now??? “it’s over.. it’s over get back? what a pussy

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