East Bay Teen Injured In Sand Collapse Now In Vegetative State

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Sand Collapse Victim Ryan Buchanan, Sunset State Beach, Santa Cruz Co.

Ryan Buchanan. (CBS)

OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Doctors believe that Ryan Buchanan, a 17-year-old Orinda boy who was injured in June when a sand tunnel he was digging collapsed on him, is in a perpetual vegetative state, according to his father, Bret Buchanan.

Ryan’s father, who has been updating friends and family members of Ryan’s condition via the Internet, said family members learned Tuesday that Ryan is not likely to regain any voluntary movement.

Ryan had been on a field trip to Sunset State Beach near Watsonville with a group from Creekside Community Church in Alamo on June 25.

He and a friend, also 17, had dug two deep holes in the sand with a tunnel connecting them.

The tunnel collapsed and buried Ryan and his friend. The other boy was rescued quickly, but Ryan, who was deeper, was under the sand for about 15 minutes.

When he was finally unburied, Ryan was flown by helicopter to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose. He was eventually transferred to Kaiser’s Oakland Medical Center, where he is being treated.

On Monday his father reported that he had been taken off a respirator and was breathing on his own.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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