NEWTON COUNTY - Three daughters are mourning the loss of their father who passed away at a beach in Newton County Sunday afternoon.
The Newton County Sheriff’s office believes 40-year-old Thomas Arby Butler III was knocked unconscious on his way down a water slide at the Backwoods Beach on CR 4096 near the Trout Creek community at approximately 3:15 p.m Sunday
“I feel like it’s a dream I can’t accept it I won’t accept it,” said his daughter Justice Butler.
She said her father was always there for her when she was growing up. He would attend every softball game when she went to Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School and most recently attended her graduation in May.
“What am I going to do without my goofy person that usually brings me up when I’m upset," said Butler.
Her two younger sisters Cheyenne and Liberty are coming together during this time of loss.
“The thing that is helping us, is relying on each other during this time of need," said his daughter Cheyenne Pucheta.
The sisters said they can’t believe their father was involved in such a tragic accident at the Backwoods Beach.
The owner of the property Doug Morgan said Butler was trying to stand upright on the water slide against the directions of the on-site lifeguards.
Morgan explains he suddenly slipped and hit his head on the slide. Deputies believe this caused him to get knocked out unconscious.
First responders arrived and initiated CPR but the attempt to resuscitate was unsuccessful.
"He was being himself having fun with kids and letting them laugh, it just happened out of nowhere," said Butler.
The sisters said they want to remember their father for his goofy personality and his love for motorcycles.
His youngest daughter Liberty Butler plans on having her own motorcycle when she is older.
"For my bike I’m going to get a lot of the things he liked, he liked to get the bell and you put it on your motorcycle and it is supposed to keep the motorcycle goblins away," said Liberty Butler.
The sisters said they will never forget their fathers and the memories they shared with him.
The owner of the water park said guests sign a liability waiver at the park before they are allowed to come inside.
Backwoods Beach also released a statement on Facebook offering their condolences to the family.
“Had a terrible accident today. Our deepest condolences go out to the family of the man who drowned today. We are deeply saddened by this tragic event. Praying for comfort for all involved.”
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