GREENE COUNTY, Tenn. - For years, Leonard Yates, Jr. was connected to the Mountain View Bulk Goods store on Highway 107 in rural Greene County, as well as the Farmer's Daughter restaurant next door.
Each morning he stopped into the store to check the baked goods to make sure the store had enough for the day; on Monday morning, however, he didn't stop in. "This morning life has changed. He was very punctual, so when he was late coming into work we knew something wasn't right," friends Tim and Rachael Troyer remembered.
Yates was involved in a fatal accident Monday morning. "Typically his wife Rhonda rides with him, but [Monday]is morning she came separately. She came up onto the accident, but didn't know it was his, so she had to detour," Tim Troyer said.
"In a way he was a quiet guy, a really fun guy. He would give the shirt off his back for anybody," Tim Troyer said.
And a person that will be remembered by those who knew him best. "A lot of people knew him around here locally as 'Rowdy', that's his nickname, or 'Spud'. He was just a fun guy to be around. He was usually upbeat. There was never a time you'd get there and chat with him a little bit. You knew him for his bandana and bibbed overalls. You knew he was headed from the bakery," Tim Troyer remembers.
Leonard Yates, Jr. was 53 years old.
The sheriff's department is still investigating the cause of the crash that took the life of Leonard Yates, Jr.