While traveling to Florida State University’s College of Music in Tallahassee, Aaron Bates, 40, and his son, Aaron “A.J.” Bates II, 17, perished in a car accident. The head drum major of his high school band, had a university audition. The dad and son were both huge music fans. They perished at the scene after their car crossed a median and was hit by a truck, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. According to sources, the accident’s cause has not yet been identified.
On the band’s Facebook page on Tuesday, Hannah Smith, a former head drum major at Lakeland High School, wrote: “As many of you may have already heard, this past Saturday we faced a significant loss.”
According to his obituary, Aaron was a drum major at the school when he was younger, thus the band was also very important to him. Later on, as an adult, he offered “his time and energy to promote that same band.” The obituary continues, “He was actively interested in advancing his hometown throughout his life. The “Bates Bunch” was a friendly name for their family.”
It is impossible to put into words the influence that these two guys had on the Dreadnaught Band program, Smith continued in her letter. Every band member was imbued with an unmatched sense of resolve and devotion thanks to The Bates, who served as role models for lifelong behaviors.
To our loving Dreadnaught Band Family & Friends, As many of you may have already heard, this past Saturday we…Posted by The Lakeland Senior High School Dreadnaught Band on Tuesday, 1 March 2022
The neighborhood is making every attempt to assist the family in the wake of this awful catastrophe. The family has started a GoFundMe campaign to help them with their financial requirements in the coming months. “Our hearts hurt with the immense sadness at the death of two of the most wonderful, kind, hilarious, creative, generous, and loving individuals of the Bates family,” the organizers stated in their statement.
They went on to say, “How to help has been a common query. We sincerely appreciate your prayers, good vibes, encouraging comments, and yes, financial help at this trying time. Although food and gift cards are welcomed, cash is the most useful kind of present.” The campaign also states that Katie, a newly bereaved mom and teacher, would suddenly be responsible for all financial obligations.
Aaron and his wife Katie, who were also band members in high school, were described as sweethearts in his obituary. Katie and the four other kids Caleb, Nora-Claire, Caroline, and Parker survive Aaron and A.J. The obituary for A.J stated, “He was eager to go to Tallahassee in the autumn after being accepted as a music major with a specialty in euphonium at Florida State University. Everyone will cherish Aaron’s good nature and sense of humor.”
According to LHS band director Luke Hart, A.J. and his dad spent their last day together at Disney World, where the high school band was playing for a marathon. Hart stated that they got to spend time with Aaron and his dad as they were doing what they love to do and watching them doing what they wanted to do and playing and performing.