Hockey ref from Allen Park killed in car crash near Battle Creek - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Hockey ref from Allen Park killed in car crash near Battle Creek

Posted: Updated:
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (WJBK) -

A car crash on I-94 near Battle Creek claimed the lives of three people.  Lifelong Allen Park residents 55-year-old William Gatesy, his wife, Dawn, and their 28-year-old son, William, were all pronounced dead at the scene.

The Gatesys along with two others were driving home from a casino in Battle Creek.  A preliminary investigation suggests Gatesy suffered an apparent heart attack behind-the-wheel and lost control of the vehicle, which then left the road and went down an embankment before hitting a tree.

"Most of us found out about it this morning," said Robert Bryan.  "It's totally disbelief that pretty much a whole family is wiped out in just a heartbeat."

"Known Bill for almost a lifetime," said Mr. Vasquez, operations manager of the Allen Park Recreation Center.  "Bill's just a bit older than me, but as a kid playing hockey Bill refereed games that I played in.  So I got to know him as a referee and later on as one hell of a person."

Hockey was Bill Gatesy's passion.  He was a referee in college, high school and youth hockey in Allen Park.  He impacted so many and his loss is felt by everyone.

"You just don't replace a person like that.  You move on, you go on, but you just don't replace him.  He was one of those irreplaceable kind," Vasquez said.  "He was a pretty funny guy.  He was a great guy."

"He got along with all the coaches, definitely got along with the kids, and his son was fantastic, his wife was great, and we're going to miss them all," Bryan said.

The two other passengers in the vehicle were taken to the hospital, but their injuries are not believed to be life threatening.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Boy with autism benefits from therapeutic listening

    Boy with autism benefits from therapeutic listening

    Thursday, July 31 2014 9:38 PM EDT2014-08-01 01:38:55 GMT
    Trevor Holzer is as active as any other 10 year old boy. just by looking at him, you wouldn't be able to tell he's affected by autismAs Trevor goes through his occupational therapy, he's got his own soundtrack.It's called therapeutic listening - the idea is to help Trevor with what's called sensory processing disorder. The goal of Easter Seals, making the world a better place for children with disabilities. As Fox 2's Deena Centofanti shows us, from an individual child to a team of players, i...
    Trevor Holzer is as active as any other 10 year old boy. just by looking at him, you wouldn't be able to tell he's affected by autismAs Trevor goes through his occupational therapy, he's got his own soundtrack.It's called therapeutic listening - the idea is to help Trevor with what's called sensory processing disorder. The goal of Easter Seals, making the world a better place for children with disabilities. As Fox 2's Deena Centofanti shows us, from an individual child to a team of players, i...
  • Detroit Police's 'Green Machine 40' stages crackdown of suspected drug houses

    Detroit Police's 'Green Machine 40' stages crackdown of suspected drug houses

    Thursday, July 31 2014 8:34 PM EDT2014-08-01 00:34:02 GMT
    Heavily armed members of the Detroit Police Special Response Team move in -- swarming this house on Tacoma with the state police helicopter overhead.This residence is believed to be a drug house where people were selling cocaine. No evidence and no arrests were found this time, but Detroit Police Chief James Craig says the message is loud and clear"We'll come back to this location and we'll send the owner a nice note and if we have to come back again we'll take it," said Craig. Elsewhere ther...
    Heavily armed members of the Detroit Police Special Response Team move in -- swarming this house on Tacoma with the state police helicopter overhead.This residence is believed to be a drug house where people were selling cocaine. No evidence and no arrests were found this time, but Detroit Police Chief James Craig says the message is loud and clear"We'll come back to this location and we'll send the owner a nice note and if we have to come back again we'll take it," said Craig. Elsewhere ther...
  • Romulus cop in hot water after road rage incident

    Romulus cop in hot water after road rage incident

    Thursday, July 31 2014 8:03 PM EDT2014-08-01 00:03:03 GMT
    An off-duty Romulus police officer is facing felony charges in connection with a road rage incident. Officer David Brooks is facing felonious assault and felony firearms charges after an investigation by Van Buren Township detectives.
    An off-duty Romulus police officer is facing felony charges in connection with a road rage incident. Officer David Brooks is facing felonious assault and felony firearms charges after an investigation by Van Buren Township detectives.
Powered by WorldNow

WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
485 S. Highland St.
Memphis, TN 38111

Main Station: (901) 320-1313
Newsroom: (901) 320-1340

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices