Page Pate: Defense lawyer, 55, dies after drowning off Georgia coast while swimming with his teen son
The father and son were swept into open waters by powerful rip currents. While Pate's son swam back to shore unharmed, a rescue crew had to pull Pate from the water
ST SIMONS ISLAND, GEORGIA: A renowned legal analyst and Georgia attorney, Page Pate drowned while swimming over the week with his son, according to the officials. As per the reports of Brunswick News, Glynn County Fire-Rescue Acting Chief Vinnie DiCristofalo said a man drowned Sunday, September 11, after he was swept away by a riptide at Gould's Inlet on St Simons Island. DiCristofalo told CNN that shortly after 2 pm, first responders received a call about "two swimmers in distress," identifying them to the outlet as Pate and his son. “I don’t have direct information whether they were together and got drawn out,” DiCristofalo said.
The official said that while en route to the scene, the rescue team learned that "the adolescent victim reached shore safely," per the outlet. The Brunswick News reported that Pate was transported to Southeast Georgia Health System's Brunswick hospital but unfortunately he did not survive. Glynn County Coroner Marc Neu confirmed that Pate, 55, died of an accidental drowning.
Pate, Johnson & Church, an Atlanta-based law firm, where one of the founders was Page Pate, released a statement following Pate's death, according to WGCL-TV. "Once the shock wears off, it's just hurt," said Tom Church, one of Pate's legal partners, the outlet reported. "And there's no easy way about getting rid of that, except for time and grieving. But I think one thing we can also take with us is the celebrations of this man's life." According to his firm's website, Pate was a seasoned pro in the field of both criminal defense and civil litigation with an experience of 25 years under his sleeve and was a lifelong resident of Georgia.
The highly-acclaimed attorney was a regular legal contributor to local outlets such as WGCL-TV, NBC affiliate WXIA-TV and 90.1 WABE, and often appeared as a guest on CNN. Pate attended the University of Georgia School of Law, and graduated with honors in 1994, according to his firm's statement. The Georgia Innocence Project also mourned Page's death in a social media post on Tuesday, September 13. Pate was a founding member of the nonprofit organization, which is dedicated to addressing and preventing wrongful convictions.
The nonprofit called Pate "a fierce advocate for the criminally accused and unjustly convicted" and lauded his commitment to the organization. "Above all else, we will remember Page's kindness and generosity, always willing to give anything he could to help, whether it be a personal matter or professional, and never asking for anything in return," the organization wrote. "Today, we share our deepest condolences with Page's family and loved ones as we mourn our collective, devastating loss at his passing," the organization continued. "Tomorrow we will pick up the pieces and honor Page's memory by continuing the tireless struggle for justice and accountability in our criminal legal system, drawing on Page's tenacious spirit and grace for inspiration."
Pate is survived by his wife Elizabeth, sons Chatham and Asher, parents Robert and Mary Elizabeth, and younger brother Lane, according to WGCL-TV.