12-year-old girl dies after falling in Augusta Canal

12-year-old girl dies after falling in Augusta Canal

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - A 12-year-old girl who was pulled from the Augusta Canal Wednesday evening has died, said Dee Griffin, public information officer for the Augusta Fire Department.

Jordan Harkins of Edgar Street was pronounced dead at Georgia Regents University at 8:55 a.m. Thursday, Richmond County Coroner Mark Bowen said.

At 7:12 p.m. Wednesday, the Augusta Fire Department responded to a call at the Augusta Canal aqueduct near Lake Olmstead and Goodrich Street about a girl who had slipped and fell in the water and couldn't get out.

Witnesses said the girl and her sister were playing near the water before she fell in the canal and got caught in a current.

The fire department's water rescue team and first responders arrived within minutes and pulled the girl out. Richmond County deputies patrolling nearby also helped with the rescue.

Faye McNair lives on Edgar St, and said this came as a shock to everyone.

"Just sadness. Someone so young, and they were just good children, her and her little brothers and sisters and it just broke my heart," she said. "I was standing out here yesterday and the ambulance, and the fire trucks and the police cars went by, and I had no idea that this had happened. It has just devastated this neighborhood."

McNair says the Aqueduct is a popular spot for residents to swim, especially during the summer.

"You know, it's a nice place, but it is dangerous as far as the rocks being slippery and the water, it's not really safe," McNair said.

Chief Wayne Harvey with the Augusta Fire Department said there's a lot of hidden dangers under the water.

"You've got uneven surfaces, and you've got slippery rocks coming up out of the water," he said. 

As a community copes with the loss of someone so young, McNair has a message for anyone who swims in the Aqueduct.

"Please, please just be careful, and don't trust anything because the rocks are very slippery. Never take anything for granted, even if you can swim, because it can really hurt you and you can be taken under," she said.

The girl was taken to an area hospital, Griffin said. She died Thursday morning. Her body has been taken to the GBI Lab in Atlanta for an autopsy, according to the coroner.

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