New app alerts drivers to nearby police pursuits
ST. LOUIS (KMOV) - Every day, Connie Batsell wakes up thinking about her son Krystofer. He was just 21 years old when he was hit and killed by a man fleeing police.
“He was innocent in the situation and quickly taken from us. It’s been three years and still hits me hard,” said Batsell.
But she says it’s vital for her and her husband to work towards change, to ensure no other families go through the pain they’ve suffered.
“Unfortunately, police pursuits are not going to go away so we want to work with police departments,” said Batsell.
Batsell’s son was killed when he pulled out of a subdivision in Weldon Spring on Highway 94 in 2018 and was T-boned by Aron Richardson. St. Charles County Police were attempting to pull Richardson over for active warrants.
The Batsell family believes an app call Pursuit Alert Digital Siren might have saved his life.
“It alerts the public within a two-mile moving radius that there’s a high-speed chase in progress, use caution,” explained the app’s cofounder Tim Morgan.
Currently, the program is an app that drivers have to download. The creators hope it will eventually be integrated into Waze and other GPS and car systems.
Morgan is a former sheriff in South Carolina. He helped create the app to prevent deadly crashes like the one that took Batsell’s life.
“We’re all in this together; we’re trying to make a difference,” said Morgan.
The app is used by police departments in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. Morgan said he’s in talks with departments in Minnesota and Arkansas. There are no police departments in Missouri actively using the technology.
“Police pursuits are dangerous, and here is something that might save a life,” said Batsell.
News 4 reached out to several departments in the region, including St. Louis County, St. Louis City, St. Charles County and the City of St. Charles.
“This is our first time hearing of this app and service. We’d definitely have to do more research to make an informed decision,” said a spokesperson for the St. Charles County Police Department.
The other departments said they were not aware of the app either. Morgan said he is willing to provide the program at cost for departments in the St. Louis region in honor of Krystofer Batsell.
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