• Thu. Jul 7th, 2022

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Boy, 13, dies in dune collapse at Utah park

Investigators believe a 13-year-old boy died Sunday in Utah after the tunnel he’d dug into the side of a sand dune at a state park collapsed with him inside, the park system said.

The incident occurred around 5:30 p.m. Saturday at a campground area at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, the State Parks Division said in a statement Monday.

The boy, Ian Spendlove, of Santa Clara, Utah, was dug out from under 6½ feet of sand and was flown to a hospital in St. George and then to Salt Lake City, but by Sunday he had not regained brain function and was pronounced dead, the statement said.

A family members saw the collapse, and they, bystanders and park staff members began digging for him, the parks division said. Law enforcement officers also arrived with shovels.

“The Utah Division of State Parks extends our condolences to Ian Spendlove’s friends and family impacted by this tragedy. The incident remains under investigation,” it said.

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, in southern Utah close to the Arizona border, contains around 1,500 acres of sand dunes and is part of a larger dune field, according to park officials.