Tributes paid to Queensbury man who tragically died at races

Scene of the accident: The Knavesmire, York. Photo credit: John Giles/PA Wire

Scene of the accident: The Knavesmire, York. Photo credit: John Giles/PA Wire

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Tributes have been paid to a 21-year-old Queensbury man who tragically died at York Racecourse.

Senior officials at the racecourse have pledged to work alongside police to establish the circumstances surrounding the death of Jack Yates who fell down a stairwell in one of the venue’s main stands and died on Saturday evening.

An investigation has been launched by North Yorkshire Police, although officers confirmed they do not believe there are any suspicious circumstances and are treating the death as a “tragic accident”.

Family, friends and work colleagues of Mr Bates have been left devastated at the news of his sudden death and said he will be sadly missed.

People have also taken to Twitter to pay tribute to the 21-year-old, who is believed to have worked at Keelham Farm Shop, Thornton.

@_Queensbury Tweeted: “Thoughts are with Jack Yates’ family. Tragic Circumstances. From all in the Village! #communityspirit.”

It is understood Mr Yates died after he fell in a stairwell in the Knavesmire stand at about 5.30pm, as racegoers were preparing to leave the course.

A spokesman for York Racecourse stressed that officials will “co-operate fully” with the police investigation.

He added: “The thoughts and sympathy of everyone at the racecourse are with the man’s family and friends at this difficult time. However, it would be inappropriate to comment further as the police investigation is ongoing.”

Inspector Charlotte Bloxham, of the York Safer Neighbourhood Team, appealed for anyone who was in the Knavesmire stand at the time of the man’s death to contact officers.

Anyone with information about the fatality can call North 
Yorkshire Police on 101.