Drag performer GiGi Mayonae dies following Boystown accident

Sun. July 21, 2019 5:21 PM by GoPride.com News Staff

jherrion bates, seen as gigi mayonaé, and his damaged car

photo credit // facebook

Friends establish GoFundMe to assist the family with funeral costs (link below)

Jherrion Bates, known as popular drag performer GiGi Mayonaé, passed away Sunday afternoon, days after a serious car accident in Boystown. He was 25.

Bates was traveling northbound on Halsted Street when his Ford Fusion was hit head-on by another vehicle driven by Gerrick Birt just south of Addison Street at 2:14 a.m. Thursday, according to CWBChicago.com.

Birt, 29, of the 2600 block of S. Halsted, was charged Friday with felony DUI, causing an accident with bodily harm, two counts of misdemeanor DUI and traffic violations, including failure to have insurance and failure to carry a driver's license. 

Bail for Birt was set at $10,000. He was released on Saturday after posting a 10% deposit bond of $1,000, according to a Cook County sheriff's spokesperson.

Bates and Birt were both admitted to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center on Thursday for treatment.

"I'm not okay, but I'm here," Bates told friends on Facebook later Thursday morning. Bates said he was driving to Charlie's Nightclub when his car was struck by the allegedly drunk driver.

"My pelvic bone is broken and I'll be out for a while but GiGi Mayonaé will return," he wrote.

Bates underwent surgery on Saturday morning, according to his Facebook page.

On Sunday morning at 9:45 a.m., Bates posted, "Hey everybody. I'm awake. Not in so much pain. I'm mad I'm missing Sunday Funday."

Bates, of the 6100 block of S. Dorchester, passed away Sunday, July 21, at 1:50 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office. The cause of death has not yet been determined. An autopsy is planned.

Update: 7/22/2019 4:25 p.m. An autopsy conducted Monday determined that Bates died from a pulmonary embolism caused by a blood clot he suffered after the accident. 

Friends have shared condolences on Facebook. "GiGi Mayonaé may you rest in full power. Truly one of the kindest souls to touch this earth you will be missed," Joe Lewis of Chicago wrote on Facebook.

"I had no idea that when I held your hand as the ambulance came that it would be our final goodbye," shared performer Lucy Stoole. "I love you, GiGi Mayonaé."

Update: 7/22/2019 4:10 p.m. Friends on Facebook have established a GoFundMe page to help the family with funeral costs and other expenses related to the tragedy. 

CWBChicago.com reported that Birt was charged in 2014 with possessing more than a half-pound of marijuana, driving without insurance, and running a stop sign at 3400 N. Sheffield, just a few blocks from Thursday's crash scene.

Birt would eventually plead guilty and receive 18-months probation.

Update: 7/24/2019 The funeral for Jherrion Bates is Friday, August 2 at New Life Church of Faith (1419 N. Bowman Avenue) in Danville. The visitation will be from 9-11 a.m., with the service set to begin at 11 a.m.