NewsTreasure CoastRegion St Lucie County

Actions

Vigil takes place for fallen FWC officer

FWC Investigator Kyle Patterson dies in crash day earlier
Posted at 11:37 PM, Jun 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-11 08:49:54-04

ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. — Family, friends and kids whose lives were impacted by one man, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission senior investigator Kyle Patterson, showed up at a vigil one day after he died in a crash.

There were tears and hugs of comfort Friday.

One by one, people took turns to help dig a hole for a cross that will stand in honor of the 35-year-old. It was branded with his initials K.P.

Those who knew him best spoke a few words of love and remembrance.

"He was one of the biggest kids at heart and he had a passion that everybody's child learned," one woman said.

Curtis Chancey could only speak about his friend and his family in a few words.

"Kyle was just, he's just, he and his family are just phenomenal, great people," he said.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission senior investigator Kyle Patterson
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission senior investigator Kyle Patterson is pictured during a 2018 awards ceremony.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a 24-year-old Tampa woman was driving her green Kia sedan eastbound Thursday in the westbound lanes of Okeechobee Road. At the same time, Patterson was in an unmarked Ford truck when both vehicles collided head-on.

Neither driver survived.

Yemin Rodriguez said she met Patterson when she joined Future Farmers of America.

"And ever since we've been close," she said. "He's like a second father figure to me."

She said she heard the news of the crash and didn't believe it at first.

"I literally drove past the same road where it all happened," she said. "So, honestly, I couldn't believe it. I was just there. How could it happen?Honestly, I feel broken."

Rodriguez isn't alone in her feelings. Many at the vigil said there's a sense of loss that simply can't be replaced.