Police say it's illegal to climb bridge where teen jumped, drown - CBS46 News

Police say it's illegal to climb bridge where teen jumped, drowned in river below

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Perez Tamfu Perez Tamfu
(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)

CBS46 is investigating the safety of Settles Bridge in Gwinnett County after a teenager jumped from it on July 30 and drowned in the Chattahoochie River below.

CBS46 has learned that the bridge is a popular spot for thrill seekers, and we asked if the risks outweigh the fun.

"He worked hard, he always had a smile on his face. He had a big heart," says Shane Pulliam, as he described 17-year-old Perez Tamfu, a rising senior and student-athlete at Mountain View High School.

CBS46 has learned that Tamfu played varsity soccer, and Pulliam was his coach.

"He was a kid that had a bright future going in front of him," says Pulliam.

But Tamfu's life was curt short when emergency officials say he jumped from the bridge in Suwanee. CBS46 has learned that after jumping, he resurfaced just once, appearing to be in distress. We're told his friends tried to save him, but couldn't.

"They say he was found in about 10 feet of water some 50 yards below the bridge downstream," says Pulliam.

No one was making the jump when CBS46 went to the bridge Tuesday, but a quick YouTube search shows you just how popular the spot is. I wanted to know if it's even legal to jump from the bridge. 

Gwinnett County police say what's illegal is climbing onto the bridge because it's a historical structure.

If it's illegal to climb the bridge, then who is enforcing the law?

A National Parks spokesperson says they patrol the Chattahoochie River, and we've learned that the Department of Natural Resources does as well.

CBS46 is working to find out if either was on the river at the time of Tamfu's death.

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