Source: Boy decapitated while riding world’s tallest water slide
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – A 10-year-old boy was decapitated as he rode what has been dubbed the world’s tallest water slide at a Kansas City, Kansas water park, KTVI reported Wednesday.
A person who is familiar with the investigation but is not authorized to speak about the boy’s death told The Associated Press Wednesday that Caleb Schwab was decapitated Sunday on the “Verruckt” ride at the Schlitterbahn WaterPark.
“Verruckt” is German for insane.
Caleb, the son of a Kansas lawmaker, was in a raft with two adults who were not related to him when he was killed on the 168-foot tall ride. The other two were treated for facial injuries.
A spokeswoman for the waterpark declined to discuss the circumstances of the boy’s death, but issued a statement Monday saying it was “deeply and intensely saddened for the Schwab family and all who were impacted by the tragic accident.”
The ride will remain closed for the rest of the year, and the water park is scheduled to reopen Thursday.
A memorial service for Caleb will be held on Friday.
Teens witness deadly waterpark accident
It was supposed to be just another summer day at the Kansas City water park until Jess Sanford and Melanie Gocke witnessed the death of Schwab while riding the world’s tallest water slide.
Speaking to Brianna Keilar on CNN’s “New Day,” Gocke said she saw Schwab falling down the Verrückt slide, leaving a trail of blood as he went. The raft that was holding him seconds before was in front of him.
“When I heard a noise that didn’t sound like it was supposed to come from that kind of ride, that’s when I turned around,” Sanford said.
“I didn’t understand what was going on so I only saw Caleb sliding down the last half of the slide, and then I saw the blood.”
Sanford recalled that as Schwab hit the end of the slide, his friend, frantic, called for help, with medics trailing soon after.
“They realized that he was dead, so I don’t think they tried to revive him,” Sanford said. Medics then tended to two women who had been riding in the same raft as Schwab and who sustained minor facial injuries.
Sanford and Gocke, both teenagers, had just ridden the slide earlier that same day.
Gocke described the raft’s Velcro seat belts, and remembered testing out the straps to see how secure they were. She said she wriggled out of them without much effort.
“You’d think for something that’s supposed to be known for being the tallest slide in the world they’d have a little bit more secure straps than Velcro,” Sanford said.
Police are still investigating the circumstances of the deadly accident.