Fallen Choctaw Lighthorse Patrolman honored, remembered

Sep. 11—Fellow officers said the late Choctaw Lighthorse Patrolman Rance Warren always had their backs.

Choctaw Lighthorse Det. Dakota Grantham told the more than 500 people gathered Monday at the Southeast Expo Center for Warren's funeral that when he was on a call, his stress would go away when he saw Warren's patrol unit pull up.

"Rance was always out. Rance and I always worked alone, so he was always there to back me, always," Grantham said. "I never had to ask; I always knew, If I had to do something sketchy, Rance was there. I saw that tribal Tahoe coming and I felt good."

Grantham said no matter how scary a situation got, Rance didn't care and continued to perform his duties as an officer.

"He knew he was there to protect," Grantham said. "And he did his job. He did that to the very end."

Warren, 32, died on Sept. 4, 2023, after succumbing to injures received in an accident involving a utility vehicle in Latimer County.

According to a report from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Warren was driving the utility vehicle when took a curve to the left, gave the vehicle gas, and lost control on the gravel roadway. The vehicle rolled onto the passenger side, rotated, and spun backward into a tree.

"That impact caused it to roll another half turn onto the driver's side, partially ejecting the driver and coming to rest on top of the driver," the report states.

OHP's report states Warren was transported to the McAlester Regional Health Center where he was pronounced dead.

Troopers state two passengers in Warren's vehicle were treated and released from area hospitals for injuries received in the accident.

Warren was born Oct. 13, 1990, and served more than 13 years with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma's Public Safety Department in both security and as a Lighthorse Officer. He also taught a criminal justice class at the Kiamichi Technology Center in Hugo for two years.

Bruce Brannon, who officiated the Monday service, said he heard story after story on how Warren was there for his fellow officer and after he passed away, officers lined up to fill his shift.

"One right after another because his shift went on. The day still goes on. Officer after officer volunteered to take his shift and fill in for him," Brannon said. "That was just the kind of officer Rance was."

Warren is survived by his parents, Jay and Lovica Warren; a brother and sister-in-law Keaton and Alyssa Warren and their child, Alayna; grandmother, Sammie Warren; grandfather, Jerry Wayne Warren and his wife Eva; along with numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and special friends.

Following the ceremony, law enforcement officers from across the state helped escort Warren to his final resting place at Gowen Cemetery.