After having notified the victim’s families, Boone Police are releasing the identities of the occupants of the plane that crashed Monday afternoon at Boone Golf Course. The occupants were John Field Worsley II, age 68, of Lenoir; Steven Cox Berry, age 43, of Banner Elk and Benjamin (Ben) Franklin Chappell, age 69, of Boone. At the time of this release both Worsley and Berry are listed in critical condition at Baptist Hospital in Winston Salem. Ben Chappell was pronounced deceased at the scene as a result of injuries sustained in the crash.
Ben Chappell is a retired State Trooper of the NC State Highway Patrol, stationed in Watauga County. The Federal Aviation Administration has been on the scene since Monday afternoon. Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board are expected to begin their investigation Tuesday morning.
“We are deeply saddened by this tragic event. Everyone in law enforcement in Watauga County knows Ben Chappell and his family. It is difficult to have to work a scene where all of us know at least one of the victims. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Chappell family at this time. We also want to wish the very best to Mr. Worsley and Mr. Berry and are praying for a speedy recovery for them and for the comfort of their families”. – Chief of Police Dana Crawford