Teen died while digging hole with younger sister on New Jersey beach, police say

A teenage boy died on a New Jersey beach when police say the hole he was digging with his sister collapsed and trapped them both. 

Emergency responders from Tom's River and neighboring areas responded to the beach entrance near Seaview Road on the barrier island around 4 p.m.

A 17-year-old girl was stuck with her head above the sand and removed by emergency responders. Her older brother, identified as 18-year-old Levi Caverly, died after EMTs say he was buried at least 8 feet beneath the sand.

It took emergency responders 45 minutes to reach Levi, and two hours to dig him out, according to authorities. In a Facebook post, Levi's father described him as quirky, religious and a tech nut. 

The family was visiting the Jersey shore from Maine when the tragic accident happened.


Levi Caverly, 18, died Tuesday when authorities say a hole he was digging with his younger sister on a New Jersey beach collapsed. His 17-year-old sister survived after head remained above the sand, but EMTs say Levy was buried at least 8 feet beneat

Toms River Mayor Maurice Hill said the beach replenishment project and recent storms might have played a factor in the collapse. It's also possible that a sinkhole swallowed the two teens, Hill opined.

"Sand might’ve been soft, if you dig down too far you get to wet sand which can almost work like quick sand, or you hit the sugar sand which is very light it will pull you down," Hill said. 

Lifeguards are not on duty until Memorial Day weekend and they do not allow anyone to dig above knee-level, according to the mayor.