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UPDATE:Trooper chase ends in death of Kingsport teen

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  • UPDATE:Trooper chase ends in death of Kingsport teen

    Just an update on the case, we have had several good threads on this case so I thought and update was warrented


    http://www.timesnews.net/article.php?id=9003752

    Sullivan County District Attorney Greeley Wells said Monday he believes Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Kyle Cantwell committed no criminal act when he pursued Justin Thompson, 18, after clocking his motorcycle at 140 mph on Interstate 81 on Aug. 19.

    “I told them (Thompson’s family) ... if God gave me the ability to have stopped that young man before he hit that guardrail, I would certainly have done it. But the good Lord didn’t do that, and the boy did not stop and take his speeding ticket and go home,” Wells said of Thompson’s death.

    Wells’ announcement comes soon after the Virginia State Police on Oct. 18 also cleared Cantwell of any wrongdoing. The VSP determined Thompson was killed after his motorcycle struck a guardrail at the East Carters Valley Road intersection on Wadlow Gap Road in Scott County while traveling an estimated 80 mph, throwing him about 200 feet away from the crash site.

    The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation conducted an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Cantwell’s so-called pursuit of Thompson and handed their findings over to Wells at the end of October. Although those findings aren’t public, Wells said neither he nor Assistant District Attorneys Barry Staubus and Gene Perrin found any evidence a crime had been committed in the chase video. Wells said the video begins when Cantwell “started pursuing, or chasing, or whatever term you might want to use” Thompson’s motorcycle, and stays on until about a quarter of a mile before the Virginia line.

    “The taillights of the motorcycle are out of sight, and the trooper knew the state line was coming up and turned his video off,” Wells explained.

    Thompson’s family members and Timesnews.net readers have posted over 100 comments questioning the events of that night. READ COMMENTS HERE.

    Many questioned Cantwell’s Aug. 20 statement, which described activating his lights and siren each time he gained sight of the bike and then deactivating his lights and siren each time he lost sight of it — and denies ever being in active pursuit.

    Wells said what many don’t understand is the distinction “between what pursuit might mean to me or you or the average person, and what pursuit means in the parlance of the Highway Patrol protocols and policies.”

    “The police have a legal right to chase, or pursue someone who is driving at an excessive rate of speed,” Wells said, though he recommends police have their lights on when they are doing so.

    “His were on at times,” Wells said. “I don’t have to address the issue that his lights were never on. They were on at times, and so I am taking that into consideration.”

    “The things that would curtail what they’re allowed to do are generally policy decisions by the department itself for liability purposes or safety purposes, and I didn’t look at that,” he said.

    A THP policy violation doesn’t equate with a crime, Wells added.

    He also addressed the Thompson family’s belief that Cantwell may have bumped his motorcycle with his patrol car, sending it into the guardrail. He attempted to explain why the video makes that highly unlikely.

    “When the video ends, the motorcycle is out of sight of the video, out of sight of the trooper’s car, and it’s probably across the state line when he turned it off, and it’s at least 50 yards if not more ahead of him, and the only way he would have caught up to that motorcycle would have been if the motorcycle stopped in the middle of the road,” Wells said.

    “And if he had stopped in the middle of the road and been hit by the trooper’s car,” he added, “there would have been evidence all over that highway. ... It just didn’t happen the way that they think it happened.”

    It’s Wells’ understanding that Cantwell topped the hill, saw an “explosion,” and at some point prior to joining the Scott County deputy at the crash scene he’d once again turned on his lights and siren — followed by the camera at some point.

    The exact moment Cantwell’s lights and siren came back on has not been determined, although Wells said both the Scott County deputy and Cantwell’s statements agreed his lights and siren were turned back on after the crash, somewhere between the top of the hill and the crash site.

    Tennessee Department of Safety spokesman Mike Browning said Monday that although an internal investigation into whether or not Cantwell violated departmental policies is ongoing, Cantwell is no longer on paid administrative leave — and hasn’t been for some time. Since Aug. 31, he has served in an administrative capacity at the Washington County driver’s license station.

    Browning said he’s not sure when the internal investigation will conclude.

    Earlier stories:

    Sullivan DA to decide if THP trooper will be charged in Scott motorcycle fatality

    VSP cites speed as cause of motorcycle crash that killed Kingsport teen; TBI says its probe of crash almost
    *Don't argue with idiots someone watching may get confused.

    *We're all here because we ain't all there

  • #2
    In my uneducated view, it seems that Cantwell didn't CHA by turning the camera off.....
    Last edited by equinox137; 11-09-2007, 06:02 PM. Reason: I meant cover HIS a**
    "First of all, then we have to say the American public overwhelmingly voted for socialism when they elected President Obama." - Al Sharpton, March 21, 2010

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    • #3
      Originally posted by equinox137 View Post
      In my uneducated view, it seems that Cantwell didn't CYA by turning the camera off.....
      Actually I think the camera being on was CYA, unless I am misunderstanding something. It seems there was some doubt as to whether there was a pursuit and how close the trooper was to the motorcycle. Had his camera never been on, it would have been the troopers word as to what happened and there would have been a lot of doubts about it. IMO, it clears up a lot.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Taylor1430 View Post
        Actually I think the camera being on was CYA, unless I am misunderstanding something. It seems there was some doubt as to whether there was a pursuit and how close the trooper was to the motorcycle. Had his camera never been on, it would have been the troopers word as to what happened and there would have been a lot of doubts about it. IMO, it clears up a lot.
        I think what he (equinox) means is that he didn't CHA by turning the camera off, he should have kept it on instead of turning it off half way through. If it were on, then there would be no question as to whether or not he bumped the motorcycle.

        In other words, he UNcovered HA by turning the camera off and allowing doubt to be formed as to what occured.
        Last edited by OrlandoExp103; 11-08-2007, 08:26 AM.
        When passenger of foot heave in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet him melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage then tootle him with vigor.

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        • #5
          This civil trial is simply a deep-pockets litigation. The errant teen's parents are trying to justify the existance of their son through blood money - plain and simple! There is no basis for the suit and that will be the final verdict IMHO.
          Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

          [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by OrlandoExp103 View Post
            I think what he (equinox) means is that he didn't CHA by turning the camera off, he should have kept it on instead of turning it off half way through. If it were on, then there would be no question as to whether or not he bumped the motorcycle.

            In other words, he UNcovered HA by turning the camera off and allowing doubt to be formed as to what occured.
            That's exactly what I meant. Thanks....
            "First of all, then we have to say the American public overwhelmingly voted for socialism when they elected President Obama." - Al Sharpton, March 21, 2010

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            • #7
              if you read their comments on the orginal story, they were so sure that they had evidence the trooper hit the bike......but really they were twisting the truth so that they could have a civil suit.......
              *Don't argue with idiots someone watching may get confused.

              *We're all here because we ain't all there

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by troopertobe View Post
                if you read their comments on the orginal story, they were so sure that they had evidence the trooper hit the bike......but really they were twisting the truth so that they could have a civil suit.......
                Maybe. Or maybe they desperately wanted to believe that Cantwell hit the bike in order to assuage the guilt of their son. From the beginning, in reading that newspaper forum, it was clear they believed what they wanted to believe.
                "First of all, then we have to say the American public overwhelmingly voted for socialism when they elected President Obama." - Al Sharpton, March 21, 2010

                Comment


                • #9
                  No suprise here. I think a lawyer has been feeding them BS since day one. I have communicated with a family member personally, it definately sounds like that.

                  Whats 10,000 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean? A good start.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Surprise, surprise
                    "First of all, then we have to say the American public overwhelmingly voted for socialism when they elected President Obama." - Al Sharpton, March 21, 2010

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If the teen would've stopped, then this wouldn't be a story. Parents, accept responsibility when you buy your children a legal street racing machine. These things continue to happen as I continue to find once loving teenagers sprawled out on the interstate in these mc crashes.

                      On a side note, If your child owns one of these high speed devices and you really believe that they would never go over 100mph (NOT MY PRECIOUS CHILD), you're an idiot. This is not directed to anyone in particular, just the masses of naive parents out there.

                      A man should never be ashamed to own that he has been in the wrong, which is but saying... that he is wiser today than yesterday. Jonathan Swift 1667-1745

                      It's only a conspiracy when your party is not in power.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Coderbob View Post
                        Whats 10,000 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean? A good start.
                        I'll agree with you on the good start part, but I can't agree with you on the number. It should be 9,999. My wife's a lawyer.
                        Why are there so many babies on O.com? Creole, you and your buddy JPSO Recruit help me out on this one....

                        * "Preach always, if necessary, use words!" St Francis of Assisi

                        * Luke Chapter 6, Verses 27-36

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                        • #13
                          Seeing Is Believing

                          I have read the investigators reports first hand. I have also seen the video, the evidence, the wreck sight itself and talked with others within the Tennessee Highway Patrol Department. This was no accident and the District Attorney made a poor judgement call when he stated that the motorcycles tail lights were out of sight when the trooper turned his camera off. That statement will come back to bite him.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Welcome to the forum, Ms. Pratt....
                            "First of all, then we have to say the American public overwhelmingly voted for socialism when they elected President Obama." - Al Sharpton, March 21, 2010

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Seeing Is Believing

                              One other note to add....In the video the teen did stop, however the trooper wasn't stopping.

                              Comment

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