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Brother Dies, Sister Barely Makes It Out

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What should have been a fun family vacation at the beach this week has turned to tragedy, unforgettable in all the wrong ways.

The family was visiting from Maine and spending Tuesday at a New Jersey beach. Levi Caverly, 18, and his 17-year-old sister (whose name was not released) were digging a hole in the sand with frisbees, said Mo Hill, mayor of Toms River, according to “Today.”

The siblings spent the afternoon fashioning a 10-foot hole, but it caved in on them, trapping them both.

“On Tuesday, May 17, 2022, at approximately 4:09 PM, multiple police and EMS units were dispatched to the beach entrance near Seaview Road on the barrier island for reports of two teens trapped in the sand,” the Toms River Police Department posted on Facebook.


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“The family was visiting from out of town and spent the afternoon at the beach. They teens were reportedly digging a large hole when it collapsed and trapped both of them. Emergency crews from neighboring towns also responded to the scene to assist in rescue efforts.”

The emergency triggered a massive response from agencies near and far as first responders rushed to assist them.

“First responders are working as fast as they can to get two patients who are trapped in a trench (possibly sand) on Seaview Road,” Jersey Coast Emergency News posted.

“One patient is trapped approximately 10 feet in a trench. Two helicopters are responding to the beach. One backhoe is responding to the location.

“RUST (Regional Urban Search & Rescue) responding. Responders are in a race against time.

“Update: one 17 year old female removed and being transported to hospital by ground. One more patient 18 year old male still trapped. Helicopter on ground.”

A short while later, the final, tragic update was shared.


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“The 17 year old female victim was rescued and treated at the scene, but her brother Levi Caverly, 18 of Union Maine, tragically died in the collapse,” the Toms River Police Department said.

Most people wouldn’t think twice about playing on the beach, making sandcastles or digging in the sand, but the water isn’t the only danger on the beach.

Authorities are using this heartbreaking incident to remind vacationers and beachgoers that digging in sand can be dangerous, and they urge people not to dig holes any deeper than their knees.

Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she’s strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.

As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn’t really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she’s had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children’s books with her husband, Edward.


Austin, Texas

Languages Spoken

English und ein bißchen Deutsch

Topics of Expertise

Faith, Animals, Cooking

Western Journal

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