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State upholds firing of trooper who drive past deadly wreck

We recently wrote a post about a state trooper being sued by the family of a man who died in a serious car wreck. They've claimed the trooper was pursuing the man and didn't bother to stop to render aid when he crashed into a tree. The trooper apparently drove past the crash and pulled over, returning several minutes later.

The trooper was ultimately sent a letter of termination at the end of January. He appealed that decision, but the firing was upheld this week by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, according to WATE's website.

After the November crash, investigators decided the trooper did in fact fail to stop and give aid to the man after his car crashed. While the chase itself was determined to be in accordance with the policies of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the trooper's actions after the pursuit, which are the subject of the family's lawsuit, are what led to his dismissal.

Sources say the ruling is based on the trooper's apparent violations of Human Resources policies, as well as the rules and policies of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security.

The trooper will be relieved of duty as of Feb. 20, although he can appeal the most recent decision. It would appear that the THP is firm in its stance, however. According to WATE, the commissioner of the Department of Safety says that the trooper's conduct after the crash "was a poor representation of the honorable men and women who serve on the Tennessee Highway Patrol."

Source: WATE, "Department of Safety upholds termination of highway patrol trooper," Feb. 14, 2012

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