• Wife remembers retired trooper killed in Boone plane crash

    By: Alexa Ashwell

    Updated:

    BOONE, N.C. - Federal officials are still investigating what caused a small plane to crash in Boone Monday.

    Police, fire and medic responded to the Boone Golf Club, where the plane had crashed on its course.

    Officials said the plane had just taken off from a nearby airport. Operators said they received about two dozen calls to the 911 dispatch center within a matter of minutes.

    “We just had a small plane crash at the Boone Golf Club,” said one caller.

    “A plane just crashed and burst into flames,” said another caller.

    Officials identified the three men on board the plane as Ben Chappell, John Worsley and Steven Barry.

    Chappell died in the crash. Worsley and Barry were critically injured and airlifted to area hospitals.

    Chappell was a retired North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper. He served more than 25 years before retiring in 1995.

    “He was a wonderful man and well-respected by all law enforcement agencies,” said Highway Patrol Sgt. Williams, who worked with Chappell for approximately two years.

    READ MORERetired NC trooper killed in Boone plane crash

    “He retired near the beginning of my career,” said Sgt. Matt Stevens, with the Boone Police Department. “I know his wife and have spoken with him before. By reputation he was just a fantastic man, person and trooper.

    Chappell leaves behind a wife of 28 years and two adult children.

    Channel 9 spoke with Chappell’s wife, Anita, on the phone. She said before his service with the Highway Patrol, Chappell had served in the Navy.

    The couple married in 1987 and had two children, Benjamin, 27, and Ivy, 25.

    “He loved his children,” Anita Chappell said. “He also liked motorcycles and had a passion for flying.”

    Anita Chappell said her husband got his pilot’s license in the late 1980s and was a frequent flyer.

    She said Chappell, Worsley and Stevens were good friends. She also said her husband was not flying the plane at the time of the crash.

    At the time of his death, Anita said her husband operated a motor coach for Appalachian State University. Prior to that, he drove a motor coach for Christian Tours out of Newton.

    “He was a smart man and he loved being a trooper,” said his wife. “But mostly he loved being a dad."

    Chappell is also survived by a sister, Linda Mohr, and a brother, Billy Chappell.

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