Authorities say a 7-year-old boy who was digging alone in a sand pile near his central Washington home died after the pile collapsed, burying his head, arms and shoulders.
"The family is heartbroken," said family friend Richelle Risdon. "It's an unimaginable pain, no one should ever lose their child."
Kittitas County Sheriff Gene Dana said the parents of Clayton Everley found him half-buried Wednesday at around 4 p.m. about 100 feet from their house in Roslyn, in an area of their backyard that is covered by sand. They started CPR, and fire department medics continued life-saving measures.
Risdon said they actually got a heartbeat back at Ellensburg hospital, but Clayton died after being flown to Children's Hospital in Seattle. She then had to go home and tell her son, one of Clayton's best friends, that he was dead.
"Today was the hardest day of my son's life," Risdon said. "It's been extremely difficult to say the least."
Even amongst the fun and festivities of the nearby annual Cle Elum Halloween parade, Bryan Smith and other parents told us they found it hard to be smile.
"I got a son just about the same age," Smith said. "It scares the heck out of me."
Roslyn is a picturesque mountain town known as the place where part of the 1990s television series "Northern Exposure" was filmed.