Child Dies Digging Sand Tunnel With Brother at Jersey Shore

sand tunnel
Not the sand tunnel in story
but just as dangerous
This story may make you never want to go to the beach with your kids again. And it's not about a shark attack or a drowning in the water. A 12-year-old boy named Ezra Cornman has died after a sand tunnel he was digging with his brother collapsed on him. His mother was there with her sons, and lifeguards were also just 15 feet away, as the boys were digging, digging, and digging in the sand in Long Branch at the Jersey Shore. It's something I've seen just about every time I've been to a beach. Kids and even adults digging. Burying each other. Having fun. 

But this time it ended in tragedy. When reports first came out about the sand tunnel collapse, the boy was in pediatric intensive care, but as time went on the story became even more horrific.


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What we know is that he wasn't breathing when he was pulled out of the sand on Tuesday. Witnesses reported that blood was coming out of the child's nose as lifeguards tried and tried to revive him. They tried CPR, but he was lifeless. He and his brother dug a tunnel that was two to three feet deep, and apparently the weight of all the sand collapsing on him made breathing impossible. He died the next day.

All I keep thinking is that I don't want my kids to dig sand tunnels ever. Or bury each other in the sand ever. Two things that almost all kids want to do at the beach. Something so common. Seemingly harmless. But it's not. Mom was right there most likely enjoying the sun while her two sons played together. In a moment, everything changed. In a moment, terror.

Emergency vehicles were called to take the child to Monmouth Medical Center, and horrifically when one fire truck arrived, it hit a man who was holding his infant son. It could have been worse but the father had broken limbs and the baby was not severely injured. It was reported that the firefighter driving the truck was on his final shift before retirement.

The whole scene is just unimaginable.

The pain the mother must feel from losing her son in such a way. The what ifs the child's brother will live with forever. I pray for them, for the family. No one could have predicted such a terrible tragedy could result from two boys playing in the sand.

Does this story make you worried about how your kids play at the beach?

Image via popofatticus/Flickr

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