Boy, 13, crushed to death after digging tunnel under sand dune that collapsed

A teenage boy died after digging a tunnel by Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park in Utah (Picture: Getty Images)

A teenager has died after he dug a tunnel over six feet deep in a under a sand dune.

Ian Spendlove was buried alive at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park in Kanab, Utah, on Saturday.

Relatives and park visitors frantically tried to dig the boy out from the sand until sheriff’s deputies arrived with shovels.

After 23 minutes of digging they found Ian and he was unconscious.

Responders performed CPR until he could be airlifted to St George Regional Hospital and then a children’s hospital in Salt Lake City.

He was pronounced dead the following day after displaying no signs of brain activity, according to.

A spokesman for the park expressed their condolences to the boy’s friends and family.

They said: ‘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.

‘Always recreate with a buddy, wear your life jackets and helmets, and always let somebody know where you are going and when to expect your return.’ 

Ian’s death is subject to an ongoing investigation.

No charges have been filed by the state park or the county sheriff’s office against his parents, Utah’s 46 State Parks spokesman Devan Chavez told the .

The state park’s dunes are a popular attraction, including for ATV riders, due to their color that comes from pink Navajo sandstone. The park spans 3,370 acres and visitors frequent it for sandboarding, hiking and camping.

A 13-year-old boy from Eagle Mountain who was riding a four-wheeler and went over a dune, tumbled and died in 2018.


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