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Blue Devil Nation mourns the death of Tyshon Dye

Dye, 25, drowns at Lake Russell Park

An innocent post-holiday family outing turned into a tragic nightmare Friday afternoon when Tyshon Dye, 25, an Elbert County football legend, died in a swimming accident at Richard B. Russell State Park’s designated swimming area.

Dye was swimming with family members at the location beyond the roped-off swimming area.

Elbert County Coroner Chuck Almond said family members told Almond that as they were swimming to the other side of the cove from where the swimming area is located, Dye told family members that he was tiring and that everyone should turn back.

Moments later, according to family members and what Almond referred to as “third party” witnesses, Dye submerged in the dark lake water and did not come back up.

His body was recovered by the Elbert County Water and Dive Team members a little less than one hour and 15 minutes later.

Almond said that state medical examiners told  Almond that there was no need for an autopsy because of the many eyewitness accounts of the incident.

At 4:50 p.m. Elbert County Emergency Medical Services got a call about a possible drowning at the park, but Almond said that because there is very poor cell phone reception at the park’s swimming area, there were several calls made to Elbert County 911 that could have possibly come from several sources at the location.

Within minutes the Elbert County Dive and Water team deployed to the location, assisted by Elbert County Emergency Medical Services, Elbert County Sheriff’s Office, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

When Dye’s body was located and recovered from the lake, Elbert County Assistant EMS Director and Deputy Coroner Beth Seymour pronounced Dye dead at the scene.

Almond, when asked Monday if a lack of cell phone coverage at the location was a hazard, replied “Very much so.”

Reaction to Dye’s untimely death Friday was swift.

His former Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney called him one of the “sweetest souls” he had ever known, and Clemson beat writer David Hood wrote that everyone described “TyDye” as a “sweet soul” (Hood’s personal reflection is in today’s issue of The Elberton Star).

“The football part was just a small part of what Tyshon was about – he was an incredible young man,” said his former Blue Devil Head Coach, Sid Fritts, who visited with Dye’s family Friday night after the tragic event. “The entire Elbert County community is reeling. As much grief as I experienced last night with the family, I experienced that much support.”

“Our heart aches for losing Tyshon at such a young age,” said Sandy Adams, who heads the Friends Helping Friends organization at Elbert County Comprehensive High School. “He was the kindest, most compassionate, happiest, humble, hardest working young man we’ve ever known.  We will greatly miss our wonderful friend.”

Elbert County School Superintendent Chuck Bell said the Elbert County Board of Education was extending its deepest condolences to Dye’s family.

Mack’s Funeral Home, Elberton chapel, released details of funeral arrangements Monday evening.

Services will be held Saturday, July 13 at Elberton First Baptist Church beginning at 2 p.m. Dye’s body will be placed in the church on Saturday one hour prior to the service.

Interment will be in Lincoln Heights Cemetery.

Family will be receiving friends from 6 p.m. until 7 p.m. Friday at Mack’s Funeral Home, Elberton chapel.


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The Elberton star

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 280
Elberton, GA  30635

Phone: 706-283-8500
Fax: 706-283-9700