[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
A young teen died during a family trip to a state park in Utah when a sand dune suddenly collapsed on top of him.
According to reports, Ian Spendlove was digging a tunnel at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park on Saturday when the dune fell and trapped him underneath the dense sand.
Utah State Parks officials said they were notified by a family member who saw the dune collapse. Crews rushed to the scene in an attempt to rescue the 13-year-old, with a State Park law enforcement ranger and deputies from Kane County Sheriff’s Office using shovels to dig the boy up.
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After Spendlove was found around six-and-a-half feet beneath the sand, he was given CPR and regained a pulse, according to FOX13. He was rushed to a local hospital via Life Flight before being transferred to a Salt Lake City facility — where he was declared dead on Sunday after failing to regain brain activity.
The deadly dune collapse remains under investigation. Park rangers said it happened quickly, adding that the boy was recovered about 25 minutes after the dune fell. A press release from State Park officials read:
“The Utah Division of State Parks extends our condolences to Ian Spendlove’s friends and family impacted by this tragedy.”
Devan Chavez, a spokesman for the parks agency, told The Washington Post he wasn’t aware of any similar incidents at the site. In 2012, however, another teen died after being trapped under a collapsed sand dune at Snow Canyon State Park, about 50 miles northwest of the Coral Pink Sand Dunes.
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Chaves urged future visitors to be safe by wearing helmets or life jackets and alert others of recreation plans when in state parks, telling the publication:
“Always recreate with a buddy or someone who can help you or go and get help. And always let someone away from the area know where you’re going and what your plan is.”
Officials echoed the same sentiment on the park’s website, saying in a statement:
“With the recreation season now underway, Utah State Parks would like to remind everyone that while Utah’s outdoors are beautiful places to explore, safety needs to be a top priority.”
Please be safe out there, Perezcious readers.
[Image via Utah.com/YouTube]