12-year-old boy buried by sand dune, killed

Southwest Michigan

SOUTH HAVEN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A 12-year-old boy died Saturday after he was covered by a sand dune at a Boy Scout Camp south of South Haven, police say.

On Sunday, the child was identified by police as Gage Wilson of Portage. Family members told 24 Hour News 8 that he was loving, thoughtful and passionate about being a scout.

South Haven Police Department Sgt. Zach Hathaway said Gage was reportedly digging into a dune at North Point County Park when sand came crashing down on him. A fellow Boy Scout called 911 as others worked to free Gage. Still, he was trapped under the sand for between 15 and 30 minutes.

“When they found him, he was completely covered in sand,” Hathaway said.

When emergency responders arrived at the park around 4:15 p.m., they found scout leaders performing CPR on the boy. Emergency responders took over and an officer used an AED to get Gage’s pulse back.

Authorities then rushed Gage out of the park to a waiting ambulance, which in turn took him to an area where a medical helicopter was waiting. He was airlifted to Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo, where he died.

The South Haven Police Department said Sunday an autopsy was pending and that it was still investigating, but that the incident appears to have been “a tragic accident.”

In a Sunday statement, Michigan Crossroads Council CEO and Scout Executive Donald Shephard said the organization offered “our deepest condolences to the victim and his family, and we will support them in any way that we can.”

The Scouts went on to say that safety was “integral to everything we do” and that they place “great importance on prevention and preparedness” to keep its members safe.

—24 Hour News 8’s Marvis Herring contributed to this report.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Know something newsworthy? Report It!

24 Hour News 8 Links