Saturday August 17th, 2019 4:55PM

Authorities identify man who drowned after jumping from bridge into Chattahoochee River

By AccessWDUN Staff

Officials have identified the man who drowned in the Chattahoochee River late Wednesday afternoon after he jumped of a Suwanee bridge.

Department of Natural Resources' Mark McKinnon identified the victim as Joshua Elias Katikala, 20, of Cumming.

Gwinnett County Fire Captain Tommy Rutledge Katikala was with friends, jumping off the bridge. "After jumping off the bridge into the water, the friend tried to help, but pulled back from that rescue effort because he was putting himself in extreme danger." Rutledge said. "The man is described as being combative."

McKinnon said in an email that the victim was under water for nearly one hour. 

The man was located about a mile south of the bridge. Rutledge said he was trapped in tree debris under the water. He died a short time after arriving at Emory Johns Creek Hospital. 
Rutledge said jumping off the bridge is illegal.  No one involved was wearing a life jacket. The water was a little higher than normal due to a recent water release from Buford Dam, but the release did not play a part in the drowning, according to Rutledge.
Initially, it was reported the victim was 23 years old and with one friend at the bridge. The Department of Natural Resources indicated the man was 20 and with two friends.
AccessWDUN's Scott Kimbler and Alyson Shields contributed to this report.
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