James Douglas Bossen
Indianapolis International Airport Police Department
Friday, February 5, 1982

Age: 37
Served: 13 years, 6 months
Badge #:
Panel 30W, Line 2
Panel L5, Line 1

Incident Details

Cause of Death:
Aircraft accident
Date/Time of Incident:
Friday, February 5, 1982
02:15 pm
Incident to Death Duration:
Same day
Incident Location:
Interstate 77 near Lambsburg, Virginia
Incident County:
Incident Township:
(There are no civil townships in the Commonwealth of Virginia)
Weapon Used:
Suspect Disposition:
Burial Place:
Washington Park East Cemetery, Indianapolis

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   Officer James Bossen was killed while piloting a Piper PA-32R aircraft in which he and a private guard were transporting two prisoners for the Indiana Department of Correction.

   The flight departed Smith Reynolds Airport in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, en route to McGhee Tyson Airport near Knoxville, Tennessee, when the aircraft crashed into the side of Sugar Loaf Ridge, a 3,000-foot high mountain in heavy fog and became engulfed in flames. The crash occurred in a rugged area of rural Carroll County about three miles north of the Virginia–North Carolina state line west of Interstate 77.

   All four men aboard, Officer Bossen, a 46-year-old guard as well as the 21- and 28-year-old handcuffed prisoners, were burned beyond recognition.

   Officer Bossen, from Indianapolis and a certified commercial pilot, had previously served with the Marion County Sheriff's Department for 12½ years. He was survived by his wife.

Military Service

United States Army
Vietnam War

Historical Note

• Officer Bossen is one of eight Indiana line of duty death incidents that occurred in another state.

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