2 Teens Die In Separate Sand Tragedies

By Jason Hall

May 18, 2022

Big hole on the beach
Photo: Getty Images

Two teenage boys died in separate sand-related tragedies just days apart.

Ian Spendlove, 13, of Santa Clara, Utah, was digging a tunnel in the side of a sand dune at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park when it unexpectedly collapsed with him inside on Saturday (May 14), Utah State Parks confirmed in a blog post on Monday (May 16).

Levy Caverley, 18, of Maine died from injuries sustained after sand collapsed on him at a beach near Seaview Road in Toms River, New Jersey on Tuesday (May 17), NBC New York reports.

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State park staff was contacted by a family member who witnessed the collapse just after 5:30 p.m. and immediately attempted digging to locate Spendlove, who was recovered at around 5:53 p.m., approximately 6.5-feet below the sand, park officials confirmed.

First responders administered CPR until emergency personnel arrived and confirmed Spendlove still had a pulse before being transported via Life Flight to St. George Regional Hospital and later to a Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City, but hadn't regained brain activity and was later pronounced dead.

Caverley and his 17-year-old sister were using frisbees to dig a 10-foot hole in the sand when it collapsed on both of them, Toms River Mayor Mo Hill confirmed.

Police and EMS units managed to rescue Caverley's sister, but were unable to save the 18-year-old, who died during the sand collapse, NBC New York reports.

No lifeguards were present at the Toms River beach as they are not authorized to patrol the beaches prior to Memorial Day weekend.

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