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Man accused of DWI in wreck that killed best friend

By WCTI Staff
Published On: Apr 24 2014 09:48:53 AM CDT
Updated On: Apr 24 2014 03:11:21 PM CDT
Michael Ray Chappell and Douglas Couser
ONSLOW COUNTY -

An Onslow County man is accused of DWI in a wreck that killed his best friend, said investigators.

The Highway Patrol said the single-vehicle accident happened at about 6:40 p.m. Wednesday on Crown Point Road right off Sanders Drive, about 4-and-a-half miles southeast of Hubert.

Troopers said 39-year-old Michael Ray Chappell (pictured left), of Fishing Creek Lane in Hubert, was driving a 1995 Toyota 4Runner faster than he should have and ran off the road to the left. Chappell then over-corrected to the right and over-corrected again, causing the SUV to flipped over onto its roof, said investigators.

Chappell was not hurt. But his passenger and best friend, 37-year-old Douglas Lee Couser, also of Fishing Creek Lane in Hubert, was killed, troopers said.

Douglass (pictured right) did not have a seat belt on and was partially ejected, said troopers. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators said Chappell was arrested and charged with DWI. His BAC was 0.10, troopers told NewsChannel 12. Chappell is also facing charges of felony death by motor vehicle and reckless driving.

Chappell was being held in the Onslow County Jail on a $20,000 secured bond.