SAN DIEGO (CBS) — Tragedy struck when two 11-year-old boys in Temecula were doing what they loved.
Anthony Fowler and his best friend, Tyler Brown, were playing outside, digging caves in the dirt, when the soil collapsed on them in a dry riverbank at Long Canyon Creek Park.
Anthony had been laying down in his cave and was buried. Tyler managed to break free and go get help.
An emergency crew arrived and, with the help of some passersby, extracted Anthony from the dirt and revived him with CPR.
Anthony spent weeks in a San Diego hospital, his brain no longer functioning and his body shutting down.
Thursday morning, Anthony’s parents announced that their son had died. They said his organs were donated to help others live.
One of Tyler’s classmates called him a hero.
“I wouldn’t say that because usually heroes save lives and I couldn’t get [Anthony] out fast enough,” Tyler said.
Tyler said he visited Anthony at the hospital several times. He said he hasn’t been back to Long Canyon Creek Park.
Tyler said of Anthony: “We’re almost like brothers because we’re always helping each other out and we’re usually at each others’ houses everyday.”
With the help of a therapist and his family, Tyler is trying to cope with losing his best friend.