A 12-year-old boy was buried alive after a sand dune collapsed on top of him during a Boy Scout event in Michigan on Saturday, according to reports.
Gage Wilson, of Portage, was digging into the side of a dune hill with two other Boy Scouts at the event in Van Buren County and decided to crawl inside, WWMT reported. The dune collapsed, trapping Wilson inside, but the two other scouts didn’t notice he was gone for 30 minutes, WWMT reported.
“As soon as he went in, it broke the tension on it and it collapsed. There was probably 100 pounds of sand that caved in on him,” John Yellich, with the Michigan Geological Survey, told WMMT.
South Haven Police Sgt. Zach Hathaway said: “They saw part of his body. I think his legs were exposed out of the sand, and that’s when they realized something was wrong.”
Police responded to the 911 call at 4:14 p.m., in which the caller reported “a child buried in the sand near the waters’ edge,” South Haven Police announced in a statement.
First responders performed CPR on the boy, and were able to “establish a pulse in the victim,” the statement continued. However, Wilson was pronounced dead at a Kalamazoo hospital.
“This is a very difficult time for our Scouting family,” executive-CEO Don Shepard of the Michigan Crossroads Council, Boy Scouts of America, said in a Facebook statement.
“We are sad to confirm the death of one of our youth members following an accident at a Scouting event. We offer our deepest condolences to the victim and his family, and we will support them in any way that we can.”
Wilson’s grandmother, Kathy Peterson, described Wilson as an active and dedicated Boy Scout. She suggested to WWMT that her grandson suffocated in the dune.
“It looked like an inch at the very most of air space left in his lungs,” she told the station. “The rest was filled with sand, his nostrils were backed up with sand.”
Police said autopsy results are pending.
“This incident is still under investigation, however, it appears to be a tragic accident,” police added in the Facebook statement.