Incident DetailsCause of Death:
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.
United States Army
• Officer Bossen is one of eight Indiana line of duty death incidents that occurred in another state.