Victim’s family demands answers months after fatal Greene County crash; driver charged

Trevor Gross (left) and Jason Mistele
Trevor Gross (left) and Jason Mistele

GREENE COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – Charges have been filed against a driver who was involved in a deadly wreck while being chased by a Greene County Sheriff’s deputy. It took nearly two months for it to happen and investigators still aren’t talking about what happened.

News Channel 11 was there on the night of January 26th when the crash happened on Highway 107 in Greene County. According to a Tennessee Highway Patrol report, a Greene County Sheriff’s deputy was chasing the car driven by Jason Mistele, 22, when it ran off the road and flipped. The passenger of the car Daniel Trevor Gross, 21, was killed.

According to court records we obtained Wednesday, Mistele is charged with Evading Arrest and Failure to Exercise Due Care. Those charges were filed just this past Sunday.

News Channel 11’s Lauren Haviland has been trying to find out what happened in the fatal crash ever since, but getting answers has been a challenge. After days of research, News Channel 11 found out late Wednesday afternoon that charges had been filed against the man driving the car the night Trevor Gross died. To News Channel 11’s surprise, no one, including local and state police, had informed the victim’s family, until we sat down for an interview Wednesday.

“A grieving family should not have to go beg for justice,” said Trevor’s mother, Alice Chamberlain.

Since January 27th, Chris and Alice Chamberlain have been searching for answers as to what happened the night their 21-year-old son Trevor died. “Of course, I wanted to know what happened. So, I started asking questions,” Alice said.

He was the passenger in Mistele’s, 22, car during a high speed chase. Alice told News Channel 11 said, “my biggest question was: why did the pursuit start?”

According to court documents, the chase started because the Mistele was driving erratically.

“What is the policy on high speed chases? We would like an answer from the Sheriff, we think the public deserves an answer,” Alice said.

Greene County Sheriff Pat Hankins turned the investigation over to the THP because it involved one of his officers. THP would only say the investigation is on-going, and that alcohol may have been a factor, but test results weren’t complete. Alice said, “that could be up to eight months.” She said, “basically we were left to dig for answers, but when we went to ask for answers we just got- nothing.”

The, two months after the wreck, without telling the Chamberlains, THP placed charges against the driver.

“We understand due process and that things take time and that we need to be patient, but we’ve just felt alienated from the people that are supposed to be our advocates, for our son,” Chris Chamberlain said.

The Chamberlains are relieved to hear of at least some progress in the case. But troubled, because they still don’t know what happened.

Alice said, “we’re trying to process our grief, and we can’t go on and get closure, if we don’t even know what happened to our son.”

News Channel 11 spoke to Jason Mistele’s lawyer, Troy Bowlin, Wednesday. Bowlin said his office has been conducting its own, independent investigation since two days after the accident. Bowlin said it’s too early to comment any further.

Mistele is expected to be in court in June.

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