Indiana girl dies, brother injured after sand hole collapses at Florida beach during family vacation

A young girl has died, and her brother remains hospitalized after a wall of sand collapsed on top of them at a Florida beach as the two children were digging a hole, according to the Broward Sheriff's Office.

The incident happened Tuesday afternoon at Lauderdale-By-The-Sea in southeast Florida, which sits between Pompano Beach and Fort Lauderdale and is north of Miami. 

Shortly after 3 p.m., 911 dispatchers in Broward County received emergency calls reporting two children were trapped in the sand at the beach near one of the resorts. Officials pulled both siblings – a 9-year-old boy and a 7-year-old girl – out of the sand.

The girl was taken to the hospital, where she later died. She was identified as 7-year-old Sloan Mattingly. Her brother, Maddox, was also taken to the hospital, where he was reportedly listed in stable condition.


According to the sheriff's office, citing preliminary information, the two children and their parents were visiting Florida from Indiana on vacation. The children dug a hole in the beach sand when they became trapped.

"We are heartbroken following the news that seven-year-old Sloan Mattingly has passed away. Our deepest condolences are with the Mattingly family during this difficult time," the Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea said in a statement on its Facebook page.

Sandra King, a spokesperson for Pompano Beach Fire Rescue, one of several agencies that responded to the emergency, told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that the hole was about five or six feet deep. She said the girl was completely buried under the sand when it collapsed into the hole and that the boy was buried up to his chest, the report said.


Statements posted to the Pompano Beach Fire Rescue's Facebook Story after a young girl died and her brother injured after the two became trapped in hole at the beach after the sand caved in.

In a statement posted to their Facebook Stories, Pompano Beach Fire Rescue confirmed that its first responders were on scene at the beach. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and children involved. Our heart breaks for the amazing soul that lost her life."