Whitesburg KY

ATV accident at Kingscreek fatal to Thornton man, 22

Funeral services were held July 7 for a Thornton man who died in an all-terrain vehicle accident at Kingscreek.

Kentucky State Police say Billy Joe “B.J.” Bates, 22, was killed shortly after 7 a.m. on July 3 when he lost control of the Yamaha 660 ATV he was operating on an old strip-mine road at Lynn Branch.

A juvenile passenger on the ATV was seriously injured in the mishap. The boy was being treated at the Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tenn.

State police say Bates and the juvenile were returning from a camping trip when Bates failed to negotiate a curve and struck a tree. Both were ejected from the vehicle. Police say neither was wearing a helmet.

Bates was pronounced dead at the scene by Letcher County Coroner John Cornett. The juvenile was flown to Kingsport by helicopter. The accident was being investigated by Trooper David Combs.

Funeral services for Bates were held July 7 at the Neon Church of Christ. Burial was in Green Acres Cemetery at Ermine.

A son of Sonny Lee “Bo- Bo” and Donna Fields Bates of Thornton, he was born in Whitesburg.

Bates was a 2003 graduate of Whitesburg High School, and was a coal miner at the UZ mine of United Coal Company. He was active in the Bates Boyz Racing Team.

Surviving in addition to his parents are two sisters, Brittany Labrina Bates and Amber Taneil Bates, both of Thornton, and his grandparents, Jack and Brenda Meade Fields of Deane, and Sue Isaac Bates of Thornton.

He was preceded in death by his grandfather, Sonny Bates; two uncles, Lenville Bates and Billy Joe Leedy; and an aunt, Miranda Kaye Sexton.

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