Knoxville family mourns son's death after highway patrol chase

Knoxville family mourns son's death after highway patrol chase

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Kyle Anito (source: family) Kyle Anito (source: family)
"It's painful that we had to watch this video and watch our son be consumed on camera. A fire station was less than a mile away and the trooper was seconds from the scene. It's difficult and we can't do anything," Tim Anito said. "It's painful that we had to watch this video and watch our son be consumed on camera. A fire station was less than a mile away and the trooper was seconds from the scene. It's difficult and we can't do anything," Tim Anito said.

By SAMANTHA SARACINO
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The family of Kyle Anito, 20, says he was left to die after a Tennessee Highway Patrol pursuit and fiery crash in November 2011.

They claim Kyle's life would have been saved if Trooper Charles Van Morgan had stopped his cruiser sooner and done more to put out the flames.

The dash cam video from the trooper's cruiser shows the chase and crash. It begins with Van Morgan chasing a speeding car down 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. 

That's when the trooper said over his radio he was terminating the chase. Van Morgan stopped his cruiser and waited several minutes before driving back to the burning wreckage.

Trooper Van Morgan is seen spraying a fire extinguisher on the wreck. the flames had already engulfed the car.

"We loved him and he loved us, and he was a great son," said Tim Anito, Kyle's Father.

The incident happened on November 26, but Kyle's family feels like it's happening all over again after seeing the dash cam video that was released.

"It's painful that we had to watch this video and watch our son be consumed on camera. A fire station was less than a mile away and the trooper was seconds from the scene. It's difficult and we can't do anything," Anito said.

The Anito family says there's no way the trooper didn't see Kyle's car. "We expect our law enforcement to act properly and give a reasonable response to a crash and that didn't happen in this case."

Anito says things could have happened differently if the trooper responded properly.

"When Kyle crashed, the car did not burn. It was a car fire that could have been extinguished had he responded properly. We wouldn't have needed dental records to identify our son. We wouldn't have needed to tell them what he was wearing or identify his burned wallet."

His parents say they miss him every day. "I miss having a son. I miss my son. I wanted to be a best man. I wanted to coach a ball team with him," his father said.

The Anitos have filed a lawsuit against Tennessee Highway Patrol and Trooper Van Morgan in hopes of bringing justice to their son.

The highway patrol released Trooper Van Morgan's disciplinary history. There are a total of 14 incidents, including the most recent ones, that are pending. The incidents span an eight year period.

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