Home USA The relatives of Sloan Mattingly, the 7-year-old girl tragically buried in sand...

The relatives of Sloan Mattingly, the 7-year-old girl tragically buried in sand and who subsequently passed away, share their story


Therese Mattingly’s two children were enjoying themselves in the sand during a family vacation in Florida last month when tragedy struck. In an interview with “Good Morning America,” she recounted how chaos ensued as the hole they were digging on Lauderdale-by-the-Sea beach collapsed on February 20th. Sloan Mattingly, 7, tragically lost her life in the incident, while her brother Maddox, 9, miraculously escaped unharmed.

Now, Therese and Jason Mattingly are sharing their story for the first time to honor Sloan’s memory and advocate for beach safety ahead of the upcoming spring break season.

Reflecting on the incident, Therese Mattingly expressed disbelief, stating, “We’re the type of parents who are always cautious and think of every possible scenario, but we never imagined something like this could happen.” Jason described the day leading up to the accident as “perfect” until the sudden tragedy struck.

Describing the harrowing moments of the collapse, Therese noted how swiftly it occurred, leaving them helpless despite being nearby. Despite frantic efforts from fellow beachgoers to rescue the children, Sloan could not be saved.

Sloan, a radiant first grader known for her infectious joy, brought happiness to everyone around her. Her mother fondly recalled Sloan’s morning routine of waking everyone up with a fist pump. Sloan’s love for Taylor Swift and her penchant for crafting friendship bracelets endeared her to many.

While coping with their profound loss, the Mattinglys are focused on supporting Maddox as he navigates life without his beloved sister. They emphasized the importance of seeking help to process their grief and keep Sloan’s memory alive in Maddox’s heart.

The outpouring of love and support from friends, family, and strangers has provided solace to the grieving family in the aftermath of Sloan’s passing. Grateful for the overwhelming support, they are determined to turn their tragedy into a catalyst for change.

By sharing their heartbreaking experience, the Mattinglys hope to raise awareness about the dangers of sand holes on beaches, urging authorities to implement measures to prevent similar accidents. Their collaboration with local officials and experts aims to develop public safety initiatives and regulations to safeguard beachgoers.

Chris Vincent, mayor of Lauderdale by the Sea, expressed condolences to the Mattingly family and pledged to honor Sloan’s memory by promoting beach safety initiatives. Physicist Karen Daniels advised beachgoers to avoid digging deep holes in the sand and to be cautious of existing holes, emphasizing the potential risks they pose.

Through their advocacy efforts, the Mattinglys strive to prevent other families from enduring the same devastating loss they experienced. Their courage and determination serve as a beacon of hope in the face of tragedy, inspiring meaningful change to protect beachgoers worldwide.