Southern Utah teenager dies after being trapped in sand dune tunnel

On Saturday, May 14, just after 5:30 p.m., Ian Spendlove 13, Santa Clara, Utah, was digging tunnels along with his family and having fun at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes when the sand dune collapsed and trapped Spendlove beneath the sand.

The Coral Pink Sand Dunes in Kane County was the location of the tragic death of a teenager from Santa Clara this past weekend.

Family members saw the collapse and immediately started digging. Park officials and Kane County deputies arrived and helped recover him after being buried for 25 minutes. It was estimated that he was under six feet of sand.


First responders administered CPR until additional personnel arrived. Spendlove had a pulse and was transported via Life Flight to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. Unfortunately, on Sunday, May 15, he succumbed to injuries and was pronounced dead.

Park officials said in a statement, “The Utah Division of State Parks extends our condolences to Ian Spendlove’s friends and families impacted by this tragedy.”


Kane County Sheriff Tracy Glover added, “This is an incredibly tragic accident that affects so many people. Our hearts go out to the Spendlove family.”

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