Richland County officials identified the teenager who drowned after apparently jumping off a bridge in Lake Carolina Tuesday night.
Elias Pierre, 15, died from asphyxia due to drowning, according to a joint statement from Richland County Coroner Gary Watts and the Columbia Fire Department.
Pierre, who lives on Deer Harbor Court, went missing in the waters of the lake around 6:30 p.m., according to Lt. Curtis Wilson, a spokesman for the Richland County Sheriff’s Department. So far there is no evidence of foul play.
“He jumped off the (Lake Carolina) bridge and never resurfaced,” Wilson said.
The teen was with two other juveniles at the time, Wilson said.
Dive teams from the Sheriff’s Department and the S.C. Department of Natural Resources searched the waters around the Lake Carolina bridge for Pierre, and the bridge was temporarily closed, according to the fire department.
Shortly after crews suspended the search around midnight for safety reasons, the teen’s body was recovered, the fire department said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
This was the fifth local drowning in less than two weeks. Two people drowned in the Saluda River last week and one drowned in the Congaree River on June 18. Another person drowned in a farm pond in Lexington County, according to DNR.
In February 2009, two teenage sisters – ages 14 and 16 – drowned in Lake Carolina after venturing into the spillway near their home in northeast Richland County.
A 43-year-old man drowned in the lake in December 2013 after his boat overturned in the water, according to The State newspaper archives.
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