Samuel Anderson Bates, Houston, TX 08-23-1987
by Pam Bates
My favorite picture of Sam Bates
Sam, Sammy to friends, Andy to family, was tragically torn from our family the night of August 23rd, 1987. He was traveling on Highway 71 north late at night, going through Columbus, Texas on his was to Austin, when he was struck head-on. The 72-year old driver ventured onto Highway 71 through a construction area and hit a large construction barrel that hit the car in front of Sam. Then he hit Sam head-on. Sam's car traveled off the side of the road, as if he tried to avoid the accident. The 72 year old man survived. Sam survived only a few minutes. Twin sisters traveling from Austin to Houston came upon the accident. I am told one of the sisters held Sam against her chest as he lay dying in the car, witnessing to him.
Sam left behind two daughters, one who was three months old at the time, and one that was four years old. We have so many wonderful memories of Sam, from his love of his two girls, his love of Elvis and softball, his jokes and laughter, his Jeopardy-like endless knowledge of sports, his love of Texas, bald eagles, peppermint candy and Dr. Pepper. We were blessed to have him in our lives for the short time we did. But the action of that driver devastated our family, it took my daughters' father from them, my husband from me, the loving brother and son of his family. Unlike so many who seem to move on, his death affected me and my girls for years. We will forever hold him in our hearts.
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