By Jan Carabeo

TOMS RIVER, N.J. (CBS) — A tragedy occurred down the Shore on Tuesday. An 18-year-old is dead and his 17-year-old sister is recovering after a hole they were digging suddenly caved in on them.

The incident happened in Toms River on the beach between East Bonita Way and East Penguin Way on the Barrier Island.

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It was such a shock for people on the beach in Toms River Tuesday. Emergency crews responded to the beach just after 4 p.m.

Community In Disbelief After Teenager Dies Due To Sand Collapsing On Him, Sister In Toms River

A family from Maine was spending the day on the beach when a 17-year-old girl and her 18-year-old brother became trapped in the sand.

Police say the siblings were reportedly digging a large hole when it collapsed. One man who assisted in the rescue effort says the hole appeared to be around 6 feet deep, and that many people tried to dig the two out.

The girl was eventually rescued. But her brother — identified as Levi Caverley — could not be saved.

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The community is in disbelief.

“My heart completely goes out to that family,” Gina Oras, of Toms River, said. “We were in prayer earlier with my family. My son was at work in Seaside, and he’s an 18-year-old also, so it was really just, I’m still shaken up about it.” 

“I go to the beach, get them out, my friends and stuff like that have never seen anything like this happen, so yeah it was crazy,” one man said.

Emergency crews from Toms River and neighboring towns assisted in this rescue.

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The 17-year-old girl was treated there at the scene. But again, a tragedy for her family, her brother did not survive.