The NJ Beach Tragedy Was a Child Who Was Just a Child

What started a few days ago for Angela Caverly as a family vacation in a rented house in Toms River to enjoy the Jersey Shore for a few days has ended with funeral plans. It is unthinkable. His 18-year-old son Levi left, killed when a giant 10-foot-deep hole he and his sister dug in the sand using Frisbees saw its walls crumble on top of him.

Her 17-year-old sister survived with minor injuries but the mental scars will be horrific. It happened near Seaview Road and Chadwick Beach in the Ocean Beach III section.

Frantic 911 calls poured in around 4 p.m. Tuesday about people trapped under the sand. First responders from Toms River, Lavalette and Seaside Heights met with the Ocean County Sheriff and District Attorney’s offices to help. Levi’s body wasn’t found until 7 p.m.

Officials say it was the kind of thing lifeguards would normally stop people from doing. This happened out of season when no lifeguard is on duty.

What a tragic situation.

I imagine a lot of people don’t realize the danger of digging in the sand. And it makes me think of how many of us did incredibly stupid things when we were young that seemed way more dangerous than that. Children who “surfed on the hood”. Children who have played with M-80s. Heck, half the things that happened at Action Park in the 1980s seemed more dangerous.

That hardly seems fair.

Those of us older than Levi’s had an unbridled freedom that we look back on and marvel at how we survived. 5-year-old children wandering alone in the neighborhoods. No seat belts in cars or in the beds of vans. Full driving license by the time you have passed your road test without any of these graded probationary cases. Alcohol is not taken seriously, roman candle fights, hitchhiking etc.

Almost always, we got away with it. Yet it is as if we are claiming it. All Levi Caverly asked for was a day at the beach with his sister.

Our thoughts are with the Caverly family. The part of New Jersey that brings us such peace has caused this out of state family so much pain.

The opinions expressed in the above post are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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