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KANAB — A 13-year-old boy died over the weekend after a sand tunnel he was digging at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park collapsed on him, state parks officials said Monday.
The incident happened just after 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, when park rangers were called to an area outside the campground where Ian Spendlove, of Santa Clara, was said to be trapped under the sand.
"Park rangers believe he had been digging a tunnel in the side of a sand dune when it unexpectedly collapsed with him inside," said Devan Chavez, Utah Division of State Parks spokesman, in a news release.
Officials were alerted to the area by a family member who witnessed the collapse, and park rangers and deputies began trying to dig the teen out, Chavez said.
Ian was recovered at about 5:53 p.m. about 6½ feet beneath the sand and CPR was administered to him. Chavez said that Ian did have a pulse when he was transported via medical helicopter to St. George Regional Hospital and then on to Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City, but he was unable to regain brain activity and died Sunday.
"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," Chavez 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."