A 17-year-old high school student died in Gwinnett County after jumping from a bridge into the Chattahoochee River near Suwanee on Sunday.
A simple check of YouTube shows this a hot spot for teens, with many of them venturing out onto the bridge. But who is responsible for making sure accidents like this do not happen?
There are no fences around Settles Bridge in Gwinnett County -- no signs saying keep off, so you can easily walk out onto it.
On Tuesday, 11Alive's Joe Henke talked with law enforcement from the county, state and federal levels -- because the bridge is attached to a national park.
We were told it is illegal to get on the bridge, but we would not find anyone aware of a law against it being enforced.
On Sunday, a 17-year-old boy got out on the bridge, jumped into the river, and later died.
Perez Tamfu would have been a senior this year at Mountain View High School, where he also played on the varsity soccer team.
His former coach calls Tamfu a role model who earned A's and B's in his classes.
"He was somebody who worked hard, he always had a smile on his face. He made everybody laugh all the time," Coach Shane Pulliam said.
Sunday night, Tamfu, along with several friends jumped into the Chattahoochee River from what remains of Settles Bridge. Tamfu did not come up.
"We understand one of those friends tried to rescue him from the river. Also a second river patron entered the water to try and rescue him. He became combative with them, went under and never resurfaced," said Capt. Tommy Rutledge with the Gwinnett Fire Department.
Paramedics from several departments arrived, removed Tamfu from the water and rushed him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
According to Gwinnett Fire, Tamfu was not wearing a life jacket, which is not always illegal.
"Life jackets are required if you're a boater, on a tube or floating on the water. Life jackets are required to the National Park Service. Life jackets aren't required for a swimmer in the water," Rutledge said.
Gwinnett County first responders estimate the water at the bridge to be 15-to-20 feet deep, with the bridge standing about three stories above the water.
On YouTube, it is easy to find video after video of people jumping from the bridge into the river -- which the fire department says should not be copied.
"It is unlawful to climb on that bridge structure, so therefore it is unlawful also to jump from the bridge structure," Rutledge said.
As you heard, it is illegal to get on the bridge, but we have been unable to track down a law enforcement agency which will say it is responsible for keeping people off of it.
The Georgia DNR says they urge anyone getting into the river to wear a life jacket for safety.
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