Per a report from News 12 Westchester, the incident occurred on Tuesday while the man and his 17-year-old sister were “digging a large hole” at a Toms River beach. Both individuals were trapped when the sand collapsed, ultimately resulting in the response of multiple local agencies.
While the younger sister was ultimately rescued and treated at the scene, her older brother—since identified by police as Levi Caverly (although several news reports have spelled the victim’s name as Levy Caverley)—is said to have died due to the sand collapse.
“On Tuesday, May 17, 2022, at approximately 4:09 PM, multiple police and EMS units were dispatched to the beach entrance near Seaview Road on the barrier island for reports of two teens trapped in the sand,” a rep for the Toms River Police Department said in a publicly released statement. “The family was visiting from out of town and spent the afternoon at the beach. [The] teens were reportedly digging a large hole when it collapsed and trapped both of them. Emergency crews from neighboring towns also responded to the scene to assist in rescue efforts.”
The fatal incident, which is now the subject of an investigation, has been cited as a reminder of why it’s important to stay mindful and cautious whenever interacting with sand.
In an unrelated incident this week, a 13-year-old boy died after becoming trapped beneath collapsed sand at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park in Utah. Per regional outlet KUTV, the teen—who was digging a tunnel at the time of the collapse—was ultimately found more than six feet beneath the sand by rescue officials.