Florida Man Dies in Freak Accident After Being Buried Alive in Sand Dune

by Emily Morgan

According to reports from authorities, a Florida man died after being buried alive by a sand dune that collapsed on him while he was enjoying the sunrise.

The tragic accident happened early Sunday morning at Rock Beach on Hutchinson Island. Once a bystander spotted a pair of human legs sticking out from the sand, they called for help, according to the Martin County Sheriff’s Office said. The sad discovery was made at around 9 a.m. local time.

Officials have identified that the man in the sand was 37-year-old Sean Nagel, from Stuart, Florida. According to officials, he “died hours earlier from asphyxia as a result of being trapped in the sand.”

Sheriff William Snyder confirmed to news outlets that sand was discovered in his lungs when first responders dug up his body.

The release from the sheriff’s office stated that investigators believe Nagel was lying underneath a sand dune with his feet up while recording a video of a sunrise between 5 and 6 a.m. While on the ground, the dune collapsed, trapping him underneath the sand. At this time, no foul play is suspected.

A GoPro camera and a plastic bag were found next to his body in the sand, according to TCPalm.com.

Sand dune victim likely a father to a young son

The sheriff’s office also revealed that investigators are awaiting the results of toxicology tests, which is a standard procedure. However, the department noted the results were “not likely to change the outcome of this incident being a tragic accident.”

On Monday, Nagel’s older brother confirmed his brother’s tragic death from an accidental dune collapse in a Facebook post.

“I am grief-stricken and still in disbelief to tell you all that my younger brother Sean Alexander Nagel is no longer with us on this earth,” Will Nagel wrote online. “Please remember to enjoy your life and don’t take a single second for granted.”

Sean Nagel’s old Facebook posts suggest that he was the father of a young son. Sadly, in May, an 18-year-old was also killed similarly. When he was digging a sand hole at a New Jersey beach, the sand suddenly collapsed around him.

The 18-year-old was digging the pit with his 17-year-old sister as their parents watched, according to a beach-goer who snapped the shot.

“They were digging so frigging deep,” a beach-goer who saw the horrific event play out said. We’ve had storms and everything was wet, so the sand was firm. It wasn’t hard to dig that deep. I’d say by 12:30 p.m., you couldn’t even see them, they were so deep.”

Sadly, the sand caved in on the teen. It killed Levi and buried his sister up to her neck, according to police and witnesses on the scene.