Local News

Former Morrisville police chief dies in motorcycle crash

Posted April 4, 2009
Updated April 6, 2009

— A former Morrisville police chief died when he was thrown from his motorcycle and hit a concrete mailbox in Alamance County Saturday evening, according to the state Highway Patrol.

Robert Whitesell Jr., 55, was driving a motorcycle on N.C. Highway 87 South, near Mount Olive Church Road, when he lost control of the bike, troopers said.

Whitesell, of Apex, was thrown from the bike and hit the mailbox. He was wearing a helmet.  Authorities pronounced him dead on the scene.

Whitesell served as Morrisville's police chief for five years before being fired in late 2003 in a personnel matter.

Troopers said speed and alcohol were not factors in the wreck.


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  • tracyallen Apr 6, 2009

    You all are too thin-skinned. Former President Nixon had his obituary and Watergate records all together and has for years. Everyone has their life and the good in it - and there is also the bad. WRAL or any other news agency isn't obligated to write anything else except facts about a person, place or thing. So all of you out there wagging your finger and saying "shame on you" and all that nonsense need to go find something else to gripe about.

  • slick rick da troll whisperer Apr 6, 2009

    i think that whenever someone is writing an article about someone else's death, the writer should stop and consider whether or not they are writing things that they would not want mentioned in an article about their own death.

  • CrewMax Apr 6, 2009

    "They take cheap shots if they are LEO.."
    That is one perspective. Another observation is that non-LEOs who die in auto accidents are first thought to be under the influence and no stone is unturned until determined one way or another. And it usually takes longer than the next day. My condolences to his family.

  • ratherbnnc Apr 6, 2009

    As a former Chief of Police also in Morrisville, my condolences to Bobbys family!!

  • caniacincary Apr 6, 2009

    I defend Wral.com for posting the part about his firing. I was wondering what happened to him. If he went on to another job that would hav been posted. If he retired, that would have been posted.

    The thing that strikes me is the grammatical error in the title. One of many that you find on this site everyday.

  • karen1 Apr 6, 2009

    Bobby was our neighbor and great friend! There isn't anything he wouldn't do for you. I always felt a little safer knowing he was across the street.

    I am ashamed in Wral for mentioning the dismissal in the article. It has nothing to do with the story and totally unnecessary. His children and family are going through enough right now without having to read this. Wral should issue an apology and remove that portion of the story.

    My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

  • Luv2Save Apr 6, 2009

    Pull the statement about the firing and re-post!

  • UNCfuturealumi Apr 6, 2009

    you sometimes have to wonder what makes the a tick and i have come to believe that WRAL's clock is digging up/out skeltons from another's closet. WHY! is it so important to express this deceased man's firing? WHY the hurt or the reminders of the pass. I pray for this man's family, but I so hope that WRAL will issue a note asking forgiveness from his family.

  • eric3 Apr 6, 2009

    Bobby was great friend and neighbor. He will be missed. My heart goes out to his family. WRAL, you guys really need to check yourselves. That was very classless.

    I might have to start watching WTVD or NBC17 for my local news.

  • NCishome Apr 6, 2009

    A good person. He was a dear friend to my husband. A person that was there when you needed him. Thoughts and prayers to the family and to his friends.

    May God be with you.