Man buried alive in 10-foot deep sand tunnel on California beach -

Man buried alive in 10-foot deep sand tunnel on California beach


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Man buried alive in 10-foot deep sand tunnel on California beach

By Julianne Cassidy. CREATED Jul 23, 2014

Adam Pye, 26, was tragically buried alive after digging an estimated 10-foot deep sand tunnel with friends on Monday at Francis State Beach in Half Moon Bay, Calif.

"The girls came out of their tunnel, his tunnel caved in and they turned around and said, where's Adam, where's Adam?" Kevin Pye, Adam's father, explains to KTVU. The girls attempted to hold up his exposed head briefly, before the complete collapse of the structure at around 5:30 p.m.

"There were dozens, dozens of people from the beach, men, women and children pulling sand out of this hole," George Fry, a witness who rushed to help Pye's friends dig, recalled to KTVU. "You're just grabbing sand a little bit at a time."

First responders from the Coastside Fire Protection District arrived four minutes after the call for help was received. Paramedics cleared sand away from his head and opened his airway to prepare for CPR, however, it took about 35 minutes to completely dig his body out. 

"Pye's mother says Adam had worked hard since the age of 15, when he got a job selling concessions at the Oakland Coliseum. His parents say their son had worked his way through school, putting in 12-13 hours on the night shift at the Oakland Airport UPS facility and then turning around to attend school during the day," KTVU reports.

A business communication major, Pye graduated from Cal State East Bay on June 14. This beach trip was supposed to be in celebration of his recent accomplishment.

The holes have since been closed on the beach to avoid any other accidents with beach goers, and officials hope others realize the serious danger of sand, unstable in nature and quick to collapse. 

Julianne Cassidy

Julianne Cassidy

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A city girl gone country, Philadelphia-bred journalist Julianne Cassidy relocated to be a Nashville-based digital editor for Scripps Media, Inc.