Saturday's Senate trial session began with prayers and a moment of silence for Raymond Scott Bates, 50, a legislative clerk who worked at the Senate for almost 30 years. His wife also was struck in the Friday night accident and was injured critically.
Bates was born in Pine Bluff, Ark., the son of Paul and Mae Bates. He has a brother, Wally Bates, who lives in Little Rock, Ark.
Bates came to Washington as a summer intern for Sen. John McClellan, D-Ark., in 1970. He started his career in his present job in the Bill Clerk's Office in 1975. Bates developed the first automated record-keeping system in the Senate and established its current system for numbering amendments.
Saturday, Bates' chair, below that of Chief Justice William Rehnquist, was draped with a black ribbon. Flowers were placed on the desk.
"Who can forget that resonant voice? Who can forget the call of the roll? Who can forget the authority in which he articulated each of our names?" asked Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota, joining Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., in eulogizing Bates before the session opened.
"Senators come, and senators go, but Scott has been a fixture in this Senate for the last 30 years," Lott said. "He was not just a co-worker; he was a friend and a great guy."
Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., said Bates had a calming influence on the Senate. "He will be remembered for his dedication to his family, his community and his country. As Arkansans, we should be proud of the contributions he made to the state and federal governments and the example that he set for public service."
Bates and his wife, Ricki Ellison Bates, were hit by a 22-year-old driver from Manassas, Va., as they crossed a street in Arlington, Va., about 6:30 p.m. ET. The two were flown to Washington Hospital Center, where Bates died a few hours later. Mrs. Bates was listed in critical condition this morning.
The driver, whose identity was not released, was admitted to Arlington Hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries. No charges have been filed, but police say they are investigating.
Viewers of the impeachment trial have frequently heard the deep voice of Bates as he read out the names of senators during votes. "In the quietness we can hear his voice call the roll," the Senate chaplain, the Rev. Lloyd Ogilvie, said.
Mrs. Bates works for the Arlington County, Va., public school system, neighbors said. Bates also is survived by three children, Lisa and Lori, both in college, and Paul, an eighth-grader.
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