PORTAGE, Mich– Memorial arrangements have been finalized for a 12-year-old Boy Scout who died after being buried in a sand dune on Saturday.
Police say Gage Wilson was airlifted to the hospital after the sand collapsed on him while he was at a scouting event in North Point County Park in Van Buren County. Witnesses told police he had been digging alone at the time and that he could have been buried for up to a half hour. Wilson was pronounced dead at the hospital.
“Witnesses say that when they found him he was completely covered in sand. At least the majority of his upper body was,” said Sgt. Zach Hathaway with the South Haven Police Department. “Anytime you have an area that’s unstable whether sand or dirt or anything there’s always a potential for something to happen.”
According to his obituary, Wilson was a member of Boy Scout Troop #244 out of Portage, enjoyed bowling, archery and electronics. He was also a student the Gull Lake Homeschool Partnership.
A visitation will be held Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Langeland Family Funeral Homes Portage Chapel. A service will be held Friday at 11 a.m. at Pathfinder Church off South Westnedge, with interment following at Portage South Cemetery.
Police continue to investigate Saturday’s incident but say it appears to be a tragic accident.
Following the incident, Donald Shepard with Michigan Crossroads Council and Boy Scouts of America issued the following statement:
“This is a very difficult time for our Scouting family. We are sad to confirm the death of one of our youth members following an accident at a Scouting event. We offer our deepest condolences to the victim and his family, and we will support them in any way that we can. Please join us in keeping all those affected in your thoughts and prayers.”