Parents of 7-year-old who died after hole she was digging at beach collapsed speak out

The devastated parents of the seven-year-old girl who lost her life after the hole she was digging on a Florida beach collapsed in on her are speaking out for the first time.

Last month the tragic story of Sloan Mattingly spread around the world after the little girl’s death during a family day out to the beach at Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.

Parents Therese and Jason Mattingly recalled that the day had been “perfect” up until the moment the unthinkable happened. Sloan and her older brother, nine-year-old Maddox, were digging a hole in the sand when things “just became chaos and horror”.

As per reports, the hole Sloan and Maddox were digging suddenly collapsed, leading shocked beachgoers to desperately begin a rescue mission.

Maddox was buried up to his chest but was able to be pulled from the hole. Meanwhile, Therese and Jason, assisted by others in the vicinity, continued to dig for Sloan.

Ultimately the little girl was recovered from the sand, but she tragically passed away after being rushed to hospital.

Now parents Therese and Jason are speaking out to warn others, describing themselves as the sort of parents who are considered “a little overprotective most of the time and think of everything”.

Speaking publicly for the first time since the incident, the heartbroken mom and dad told Good Morning America: “When we go to the beach, we think of water safety. And this never, ever once crossed my mind.”

Discussing how fast the hole had collapsed, Therese added: “That part just hurts really bad because it didn’t matter that we were literally right there. It was just a hole, and then there’s nothing.”

Jason went on to discuss how the horrifying ordeal had affected Maddox. “I think he’ll always be a little different now, but we’re willing to do whatever we need to do to make sure he has the help to kind of process this and move forward with Sloan in his heart,” the grieving father said.

Rest in peace, Sloan Mattingly.

 

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