Texas Game Warden Teyran “Ty” Patterson, 28, died Wednesday during a search-and-rescue operation on the Paluxy River near Glen Rose, according to a press release from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Patterson was stationed in Johnson County after his 2005 graduation from the 51st Texas Game Warden Academy. He apparently drowned after his boat capsized in floodwaters, said Steve Lightfoot, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department spokesman.

Patterson and his partner, Game Warden Danny Tuggle, were searching for the body of a suspected 17-year-old drowning victim when the accident occurred, Lightfoot said. Apparently the 17-year-old, Courtney Butler, entered the river to rescue another teenager, whose identity and whereabouts are unknown.

The Butler’s whereabouts are also unknown.

Tuggle suffered near-drowning injuries. A helicopter transported him to Harris Methodist Fort Worth hospital. Tuggle was listed in good condition. Lightfoot said Tuggle also works in the Johnson County area.

Patterson is survived by his parents Viann and Joe Patterson of Seguin. He grew up in Sequin and attended Sequin High School.

“We’re super proud of everything Ty’s done in his life,” Joe Patterson said. “I’d like to say he was an example many people should try to follow. He didn’t drink, smoke or chase women. We have lost a treasure in my son, a treasure. And even though I don’t understand why, I know he’s gone home to be with the Lord.”

Patterson is the 17th Texas game warden to die in the line of duty since 1919.

Five others died by drowning.

Patterson is also the second game warden killed in the line of duty in less than three months. Game Warden Justin Hurst was shot and killed March 17 in Wharton County during an exchange of gunfire between law enforcement officers and a suspected poacher.

“Ty died doing what he loved,” said Col. Pete Flores, TPWD Law Enforcement Division director. “He died serving a Texas family dealing with its own tragic loss. We are going to miss this courageous young game warden, and our hearts and prayers go out to his parents and loved ones.”

Johnson County Sheriff Bob Alford called Patterson’s death a tragic loss.

“He’s just a fine young man who was dedicated to his profession and a great asset to us,” Alford said. “He worked out of our office for a time and always backed our deputies and helped out when we had questions. This was his first station out of the academy. He was a super guy who had his whole life ahead of him.”

State Rep. Rob Orr, R-Burleson, said he was greatly saddened by Patterson’s death.

“This untimely loss of Game Warden Patterson is a tragedy for Johnson County, the state of Texas but most importantly his family, friends and colleagues,” Orr said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.”

Matt Smith can be reached at 817-645-2441, ext. 2339, or msmith@trcle.com.

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