A bicyclist died Wednesday morning after he came into contact with a downed powerline on the Courtney Campbell Causeway bike path, according to Tampa Police Department.
Gregory Patterson, 47, of Tampa was apparently electrocuted by the line, police said. A medical examiner hasn’t made a final determination on his cause of death.
Patterson was an officer with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, police said.
TPD was nominating him for an award for his role in rescuing a person after a jet ski capsized Saturday near the Gandy Bridge. Three people were being carried away by a current. Patterson dived into the water to save the person struggling the most.
“Our entire FWC family is in mourning for Greg. We will never forget his service and sacrifice, and can never repay that debt to his family. He was a true public servant at heart, and we will miss him deeply," Col. Curtis Brown of FWC Division of Law Enforcement said in a statement.
The agency also released the following statement:
This morning, the FWC received the terrible news that Officer Greg Patterson died riding his bike on the Courtney Campbell Causeway bike path in Tampa while off duty. Greg was a steadfast guardian of public safety and a champion of conservation law enforcement. He especially enjoyed teaching children in classrooms about conservation and the natural world. We are all praying for Greg’s family during this time, and are reaching out to them with support and love.
About 6:40 a.m. Wednesday, Patterson apparently became tangled in live wires in the 7600 block of the Courtney Campbell Causeway near Hogan’s Beach Bar.
Tampa Police Department, Tampa Fire Rescue and Tampa Electric responded.
Crews could not approach Patterson until the power was turned off. As soon as the power was turned off, officials approached the cyclist and confirmed he was dead.
The line was reportedly down due to Tuesday night's bad weather. TECO says it was not aware that the wire was down when this incident occurred.
Patterson served in the U.S. Navy and joined FWC in December 2011. He received the FWC Lifesaving Award in 2014 for helping to save an exhausted kayaker clinging to his water craft in Tampa Bay.