ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. – A young man from St. Louis was killed in a crash caught in the middle of a police pursuit that happened in St. Charles County along Highway 94.

Krystofer Batsell was 21 years old when he died in 2018. His parents were preparing for a birthday party for their other son when they received the news. 

“There should be some divine law that you can’t lose a child on another child’s birthday,” said Connie Batsell, Krystofer’s mother. 

Her son was an innocent victim. His car was hit by a speeding driver. According to Connie, St. Charles County police stopped the speeder and took their driver’s license. She said the suspect, who had an outstanding warrant in another county, sped away, and police chased. 

Connie said she is hopeful the recent efforts by local chapters of the N.A.A.C.P. will help to bring change. She hopes area police departments will spend more time talking with families affected by police pursuits. Connie said she misses her son every day. 

Law enforcement agencies in the St. Louis area are considering getting an app called the ‘Digital Siren’ app, which would allow users to download it for free. A police department could then send an alert to anyone near a police pursuit, who has the app on their phone. 

Ken Batsell, Krystofer’s father, believes the app could have saved his son’s life. 

“The officer could have jumped in his car, pushed a button, and instantaneously notified the motoring public that there is a high-speed pursuit in this proximity,” he said. 

A statement from the St. Charles County Police Department regarding recent efforts by the N.A.A.C.P. to examine police pursuit policies reads:

“The St. Charles County Police Department has adopted policies that meet national standards in reducing any safety liabilities for the community and our officers. We welcome thoughtful conversations with our community partners regarding our public safety efforts.” 

St. Louis County Police confirm the department is researching the app the Batsells believe would save lives. 

“We are open to any new technology that may assist us in keeping our communities safe from criminals who choose to disobey the law,” said Kenneth Gregory, St. Louis County police chief.

The Batsells said they are hopeful the app will become integrated into future technology and become available for everyone. They also hope conversations about ways to make everyone safer will continue. 

For more information about Krystofer Batsell visit: https://www.conniebatsell.com/justice-for-krys.

A spokesperson for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department offered a statement in response to the N.A.A.C.P. efforts: 

“Protecting the public is always a top priority for the department, and we are willing to meet with community partners to discuss how our policies can best reflect our commitment to public safety.”