9-year-old girl killed after sand collapse in Lincoln City identified

LINCOLN CITY, Ore. - A 9-year-old girl who was pulled from the sand after some kind of collapse on Friday who died, according to the North Lincoln Fire & Rescue District No. 1. has been identified.

Jim Kusz, with the fire district, said the girl died at the hospital.

9-year-old Isabel Grace Franks was found to be unconscious and not breathing after rescue teams pulled her out of the hole she dug in the sand. Her parents have been identified as Robert and Stacy Franks, of Sandy, Ore.

Lt. Jerry Palmer, with the Lincoln City Police Department, said police officers helped get the girl out of a hole that she was buried in. He said when they got to her she was unconscious and not breathing.

Kusz said when fire crews arrived on the scene, they saw people frantically digging in the sand to get the girl out, but the sand kept falling back into the hole. He said it is believed the girl was buried for about five minutes.

The incident happened behind the Seagull Motel near 15th Street Beach access ramp just after 5 p.m.

The girl was taken to the Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital where efforts to save her were unsuccessful.

Emergency crews tried to revive the 9 year old little girl after she was pulled from the hole..

Witnesses say the hole was deep enough for a full-grown adult to crouch down on the bottom, and still not be seen above the top.

Those witnesses also tell KATU News the little girl helped dig the hole along with her siblings and other friends on the beach.

The girl sat down in the hole just before 5 o'clock Friday evening to see how deep it really was, when the sand caved in on her.

"And we heard screaming," says Tracey Dudley who was staying at a nearby hotel, "and screaming coming from the beach. At first we thought, you know, it was just kids, but it was like screaming and screaming and screaming."

The little girl's family was there when the large hole collapsed in on her.

Dudley called 9-1-1 and watched people desperately trying to dig the child out.
"Well the people were digging," says Dudley, "and digging and digging, and it looked like the sand kept collapsing."

The child was visiting Lincoln City with her family from Sandy.

"This has happened before on the coast but it's a pretty rare event," says Jim Kusz of North Lincoln Fire District #1, "When it's a call like this - when it's a young child that's either a drowning or any kind of accident like this that turns out to be a fatality - it's very hard on the responders, it's very hard on the community."

After nightfall, mourners laid flowers and candles at the hole that's now been filled in - a remembrance for a family that planned a holiday weekend together and is instead now mourning the death of one of their children.

"It was heart-wrenching," says Tracey Dudley, "You could see that people were trying and - I don't even know what to say. It was awful."