13-Year-Old Boy Dies In Sand Dune At Utah State Park

May 17, 2022

Story by Dominique Hanson; Photo courtesy of Utah State Parks

Over the weekend, a 13-year-old boy died at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park in Utah after a sand dune collapsed while he was believed to be building a tunnel on its side.

The boy has been identified as Ian Spendlove from Santa Clara.

At the time, the boy was with his family and when they saw the dune collapse, they rushed over with park staff and other visitors to help dig at the sand to free him. Later joining in were deputies with the Kane County Sheriff’s Office and a state park ranger who used shovels as an attempt to free the boy.

Ultimately, officials say it took nearly 23 minutes to get the boy out from 6 and ½ feet of sand. He was airlifted to St. George Regional Hospital and later sent to a hospital in Salt Lake City. 

On Sunday, he was declared dead after not regaining brain activity. An investigation is currently ongoing.