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Teen drowns near Bell's Mill Bridge

Authorities release identity of teen, who was visiting area from N.Y.

POSTED: July 9, 2008 5:01 a.m.

A 14-year-old boy has become the second teen to drown on Lake Lanier this holiday weekend, according to the Hall County Sheriff's Office.

The body of the teen, who has been identified as Dago Bento Mejia, was found in 11 feet of water some 50 feet off shore according to Hall County Sheriff's Maj. Jeff Strickland.

At about 6:40 p.m., the Hall County Sheriff's Office and the Hall County Fire Services responded to a potential drowning in the area of Bell's Mill Bridge on Cleveland Highway, Strickland said.

Witnesses said the boy had gone underwater while swimming with family and friends and hadn't resurfaced, Strickland said. Dive teams from both the sheriff's office and fire services searched the lake for about an hour before recovering the body.

Resuscitation efforts were started at the scene and continued as the teen was transported to Northeast Georgia Medical Center, but were unsuccessful, according to Cagle. The teen was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.

According to Strickland, preliminary investigation indicates the teen was visiting the area from East Meadow, N.Y.

No foul play is suspected, Strickland said, calling it a "tragic accident."

A 17-year-old from Duluth, Ariel Cotuc Chaudjay, drowned Friday in Lake Lanier at Little Ridge Park in Forsyth County. It was the only drowning death across the state on the July Fourth holiday.

It was the third drowning this year on Lake Lanier.

The incident remains under investigation by the Hall County Sheriffs Office.

 



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