Knoxville parents remember son on anniversary of his death

Knoxville parents remember son on anniversary of his death

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Kyle Anito (source: family photo) Kyle Anito (source: family photo)

By MIKE KRAFCIK
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Friends and family took time Sunday to remember the life of a young man killed in a fiery crash one year ago.

Kyle Anito, 20, died during a high-speed chase when his car crashed into a tree after a Tennessee Highway Patrol pursuit and fiery crash in November 2011.

Officials said former THP Trooper Charles Morgan initiated the chase, but failed to stop and help when he saw the car crash. Morgan's dash camera video showed Trooper Morgan seeing Kyle's car and continuing to drive.

In that video, Morgan came back to the scene a few minutes later and could be seen attempting to put out the flames. He later claimed those efforts were "just for show." 

A one year remembrance prayer was held in Kyle's honor Sunday night at the memorial cross dedicated in his honor.  

"Everyday has been the first time that we've done something without him, but today marks the final time we do something for the first time," said Tim Anito, Kyle Anito's father.  

During the ceremony, Tim Anito scattered Kyle's ashes onto the memorial cross. The cross is located hundreds of feet from where he was killed at the intersection of McCloud Road and Andersonville Pike.  

"Even though this is the sport the place where he died, it's also where his friends come to remember him, I think its appropriate part of his remains are here as well," said Anito.  

The family says they don't him to be remembered for one bad decision, but instead they would like for him to be remembered for someone who made other lives better.  

"He made a horrible choice, but his life wasn't defined by that choice, but the officer made a horrible choice, too. I hope he will recover," Anito said.      

Many of his close friends say the past year has been tough.

"Not having Kyle there to have his piece of advice the way I would normally would. I'd say that's the toughest part, not being able to talk to him," said Zac Jones, one of Kyle's close friends.

One year later, the accident site looks dramatically different. A church is being constructed there and the tree Kyle hit is no longer there.

A fire hydrant was recently installed where the tree used to be. Family members noted the irony of that because it took several minutes before anyone attempted to put out on the flames of Kyle's Anito's car that November night.  

"At a moment where he needed water now there's endless supply of water, I think that's just a real irony, and brings some comfort to us." Anito said.    

Former State Trooper Morgan lost two appeals to be reinstated after his termination due to this case.

In August, the Anito family dropped a $10 million lawsuit against the Tennessee Highway Patrol and Trooper Morgan after he was fired.

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