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Police: 18-year-old Levi Caverly dies after hole in sand collapses on Toms River beach

18-year-old dies while digging hole in sand on N.J. beach
18-year-old dies while digging hole in sand on N.J. beach 01:45

TOMS RIVER, N.J. -- An 18-year-old man died after becoming trapped in a hole in the sand on a New Jersey beach Tuesday.

A family visiting from Maine was spending the afternoon at the beach off Seaview Road in Toms River when something went horribly wrong.

Police say the 18-year-old and his 17-year-old sister were reportedly digging a large hole in the sand around 4 p.m. when it collapsed, trapping both of them.

One man who assisted in the rescue effort told CBS2's Alice Gainer the hole seemed to be around six feet deep and that many people tried to help dig the two out.

While they were able to get the 17-year-old girl out, her brother, identified as Levi Caverly, could not be saved.

Some neighbors returned home to see a massive response.

"Ambulance, police officers, first responders, just tons of help," Toms River resident Gina Oras said. "My heart completely goes out to that family. We were in prayer earlier with my family. My son was at work in Seaside and he's 18 years old also, so it was really just... I'm still shooken up about it."

"I go to this beach a good amount with my friends and stuff like that. I've never seen anything like this happen, so yeah, it's crazy," one young man said.

Emergency crews from neighboring towns also came to help.

Many residents say they are simply in disbelief tonight.

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