Cherokee County

54-year-old man drowns after swimming out to get his dog at Lake Allatoona, officials say

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. — A man has died after he allegedly drowned trying to rescue his dog.

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Just before 10 a.m., on Thursday, the Department of Natural Resources said they were called to the Little River Boat ramp on Lake Allatoona.

When officials arrived, they learned that a man, identified as Jackie Merrell, of Ellijay, reportedly disappeared near the falls in Little River.


Witnesses told authorities that Merrell was swimming out to his dog in the water when he went under.

According to officials, the Cherokee County dive team located the victim in 15 feet of water. Merrell was taken to Kennestone Hospital was he was pronounced dead.

Cherokee County officials did not give the condition of the dog.

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