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ATV Tragedy, Riley Branch Road
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ATV Tragedy, Riley Branch Road

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One left dead, multiple communities left wondering why

Communities mourning from Clayhole, Kentucky to Ridgewood in Lima, Ohio

 “He was like a little brother to me." Bope Evans, Lima, Ohio

A terrible tragedy has beset a man who leaves a fiancé, family, and friends behind to mourn his passing. At the time of his death, the decedent, Cory Tippie, reported his being engaged to be married. Angie Neace, a local resident from a respected and well-known Breathitt County family, was set to become his bride. 

The Times-Voice contacted a Trooper Matt Gayheart at Post 13 of the Kentucky State Police. Trooper Gayheart is the Post’s Public Relations Trooper. 

We were told by Trooper Gayheart the incident occurred on Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021. The Trooper told us it appeared Mr. Tippie had lost control of an ATV, “Side-by-Side,” which he was driving and that the vehicle overturned; trapping Mr. Tippie underneath and resulting in his demise.

Trooper Gayheart told the newspaper the incident has been turned over to Trooper Kevin Day to perform a “death investigation” into the circumstances surrounding the event. When asked why, he responded, “Any accident resulting in death is investigated according to standard, Kentucky State Police protocol.” 

Mr. Tippie was originally from the Ridgewood community in Lima, Ohio. At the time of his death he was living in Clayhole, Kentucky and the accident occurred up Riley Branch Road off of Highway 476 in Breathitt County.  

The Trooper’s accounting of the events matched information we had gotten from friends of Mr. Tippie’s, particularly about Mr. Tippie’s off-roading on an ATV, “Side-by-Side.” A friend of Mr. Tippie’s might have been a passenger in the ATV at the time of the incident and may have escaped the incident with minor injuries.

We asked Trooper Gayheart about this directly. At the time we interviewed him, he was unable to confirm the presence of a second party riding along with Mr. Tippie at the time of the incident.

The newspaper caught up with a friend of Cory Tippie’s named Bope Evans. Mr. Evans told the Times-Voice, “We were all from Ridgewood. Ridgewood is a tight community. We are all either family or like family. This was a very big loss for Ridgewood; all of Lima, Ohio; and we are sure for the Breathitt County, Kentucky community too.”

Mr. Tippie is survived by his mother, Barbie, a sister named Kayla, and a daughter named Kaylie all of Lima, Ohio. He is also survived by his fiancé, Angie Neace.

We asked Mr. Evans the last time he saw Mr. Tippie. He told the paper, “Cory was just in Lima burying his grandfather last week.”

Mr. Evans related he had been up all night over this incredibly sad news. He also told the Times-Voice about the recently deceased, “He was like a little brother to me. I have two children with a girl with whom he was reared, named Amy, who was like a sister to him. Cory lived with the both of us for a while when we were still married.”

When asked about arrangements, Mr. Evans told us, “He will be buried up here in Lima, Ohio where he had just buried his grandfather. We have a Go Fund Me account started to assist with burial and funeral expenses. The account has been posted to the Facebook page of Becky Woods from Lima, Ohio.” 

An aunt of the recently departed, named Tammy Ball (Barbie’s younger sister), released a statement to her social media Facebook page. Ms. Ball wrote that “Words cannot express how wholeheartedly devastated I am to hear of the loss of my nephew, Cory. He was in a bad accident…Cory, your Aunt Tammy is going to miss you so much. Love you Cory, R.I.H.” 

After talking to numerous people in and around the situation, this reporter concludes many, many people have been left desolate and shocked at this event. Cory Tippie will be missed very much by people from here clear up into Ohio. 

Note: Mr. Long is an award-winning Kentucky journalist recognized for excellence in both writing and reporting by the Kentucky Press Association.

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