Family suing Tenn. Highway Patrol over high speed chase death

Family suing Tennessee Highway Patrol over high speed chase death

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Trooper Charles Van Morgan (source: Tennessee Department of Safety) Trooper Charles Van Morgan (source: Tennessee Department of Safety)

NASHVILLE (WATE) - Family members of a young man who died in a high speed chase in Knox County are suing the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Dash cam video from the cruiser of Trooper Charles Van Morgan begins with him chasing a speeding car driven by Gordon Kyle Anito, 20, on Emory Road. The car sped away and eventually crashed into a tree.

The video shows Trooper Van Morgan slow down, then continue past the scene of the wreck and say on the radio he's terminating the chase.

The trooper then stopped his cruiser and waited several minutes before driving back to the burning wreckage of the car.

Morgan is seen spraying a fire extinguisher on the wreck, but flames had engulfed the car.

The Anito family's lawsuit argues that the fire could have been prevented if Trooper Van Morgan had stopped immediately.

The highway patrol says the trooper is on discretionary leave with pay, and the Department of Safety is working to fire him.

6 News obtained a copy of the termination letter for Van Morgan. It references comments Van Morgan allegedly made: "I got out 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 tryin' to put on a show"

6 News was told Trooper Van Morgan is entitled to certain hearings before a dismissal can be completed.

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