1 dead, 1 rescued after sand collapses at Jersey Shore beach: Police

The 18-year-old was visiting from Maine with his family.

May 18, 2022, 4:38 PM

One person is dead and another has been rescued after two siblings became trapped under sand while digging at a Jersey Shore beach, authorities said.

Police and emergency medical services responded to a barrier island beach in Toms River, New Jersey, shortly after 4 p.m. Tuesday "for reports of juveniles trapped in the sand as it collapsed around them while digging," the Toms River Police Department said on Facebook.

First responders were able to rescue a 17-year-old girl, who was treated at the scene, but her brother, 18, died, police said.

PHOTO: First responders on the scene of a sand collapse at a beach in Toms River, New Jersey, May 17, 2022.
First responders on the scene of a sand collapse at a beach in Toms River, New Jersey, May 17, 2022.
WPVI

The victim was identified by police as Levi Caverly of Maine.

The teen was visiting the region with his family, police said.

His father, Todd Caverly, described his son as a "tech nut" who loved to program, played the drums in a young adult worship band and was involved in his church's worship team.

"Levi was himself. He was odd. He was quirky. He was not real concerned with what others thought," Todd Caverly said in a statement.

PHOTO: First responders on the scene of a sand collapse at a beach in Toms River, New Jersey, May 17, 2022.
First responders on the scene of a sand collapse at a beach in Toms River, New Jersey, May 17, 2022.
WPVI

Police urged people not to respond to the area while the rescue was in progress.

Live footage from the scene Tuesday evening showed more than a dozen first responders near the shoreline. Emergency crews from several neighboring towns aided in the rescue effort.

A 911 caller told a dispatcher that the two siblings had dug about 6 feet down when the sand collapsed on top of them, according to audio of the call obtained by WABC-TV. Bystanders were working to help dig them out until first responders arrived. The girl's head was above the sand, but they couldn't see her brother, the 911 caller said.

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