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Utah teen dies after being buried under collapsed sand dune tunnel

Posted at 5:58 PM, May 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-16 20:02:07-04

KANAB, Utah — A teenage boy died over the weekend after a sand dune collapsed on him while he was digging a tunnel.

A family member called for help Saturday around 5:30 p.m. after they saw 13-year-old Ian Spendlove become trapped underneath the sand at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, just outside the campground area.

Utah State Parks officials said Spendlove was digging a tunnel in the side of a dune when it collapsed.

Family members, bystanders, park staff and law enforcement began digging for Spendlove, and eventually found him shortly before 6 p.m. underneath 6 1/2 feet of sand.

First responders performed CPR, and Spendlove regained a pulse. He was airlifted to St. George Regional Hospital and then Primary Children's Hospital, but on Sunday, Spendlove had still not regained brain activity and was pronounced dead.

"The Utah Division of State Parks extends our condolences to Ian Spendlove’s friends and family impacted by this tragedy," a press release read.

The incident is under investigation.