Funeral services are set this afternoon for Whitley County High School (WCHS) junior Fisher Barton, who died as the result of an ATV accident in Campbell County, Tennessee, Friday evening, and he is being remembered as a person who never met a stranger, always had a smile on his face, and would go out of his way to help anyone.
“Fisher was simply a larger than life figure at Whitley County High School. He was one of those students that everyone knew and loved to be around. Our hearts are broken and he will be mourned by many,” Whitley County High School Principal Bob Lawson noted in a district news release.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9, at the Cox & Son Funeral Home Chapel in Jellico with Rev. Scott Landes officiating. The Inman Family and Kennedy Walden will provide special music.
Interment will immediately follow the funeral at the Douglas Cemetery in the Oswego Community of Campbell County, Tennessee.
Barton, 16, of the Highcliff Community of Jellico, was involved in the accident some time after 8 p.m. Friday. He was apparently riding with a group of friends when the accident occurred.
Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Conner Bell reported that Barton was driving a 2004 Honda ATV near Pine Mountain Road on private property and was attempting to go up a steep embankment on the ATV with a passenger on the back.
“Upon going up the embankment, the ATV flipped backwards throwing both off of the vehicle. The driver struck his head on the ground and the ATV rolled on top of him, fatally wounding him,” Bell wrote in a report.
Neither Barton nor his passenger, Destiny Miller, 18, of Duff, Tennessee, were wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.
Miller was transported to the emergency room at Jellico Community Hospital with minor injuries.
No drug or alcohol involvement is suspected, according to the report.
Barton was a popular student at WCHS, and participated in the school’s skeet and trap shooting program, which won the 2019 Kentucky Clay Target Skeet Title.
He was also Junior Class Vice-President, a member of Impact Archery and a Future Farmers of America (FFA) Officer.
Vocational Agriculture teachers and FFA sponsors Brian Prewitt and Glen Croley knew Barton well, as he had taken many of their classes and was also the FFA Sentinel this school year.
“Part of the duties as Sentinel is to make others feel welcome. Fisher was great in this role. He always had a smile on his face and a laugh that was contagious. He was also a kid who would put his heart and soul into everything he did, which allowed him to excel at many things. He will be deeply missed in the Whitley County Agriculture/FFA Department,” Prewitt and Croley noted in the release.
Barton also worked part-time at Cox & Son Funeral Home, and for a few years for his mentor, Dr. Michael Culver, at the Williamsburg Veterinary Clinic.
Additional counselors were made available at the high school this week to speak with students and staff.
“Fisher was active in so many activities in our high school and was beloved by all who knew him. Our Whitley County School District family is devastated by his loss,” added Superintendent John Siler.
Scholastic 3-D Archery noted on its Facebook page that Barton was an amazing young man, who was simply loved by everyone that met him.
“He was a wonderful, all-around good person from whom every encounter left you richer,” the post added.
In lieu of flowers, people are encouraged to consider making a donation to the Whitley County High School Future Farmers of America program at 350 Boulevard of Champions in Williamsburg, KY 40769.
For complete obituary information, see page A-10 in this week’s edition of the News Journal.