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Thread: Kansas state senator's 10 y.o. son dies on 'World's Tallest Waterslide'

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    Elite Member Moongirl's Avatar
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    Default Kansas state senator's 10 y.o. son dies on 'World's Tallest Waterslide'

    I heard about this yesterday, and the story just keeps getting worse...

    ************************************************** ***************************************
    Senator's son, 10, was 'decapitated when he was thrown through raft harness and safety net before plunging 50ft on the world's tallest waterslide'


    Caleb Thomas Schwab, 10, died Sunday while riding an 168-foot-tall waterslide at Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kansas

    Witnesses say he was decapitated after he flew off rife and hit safety nets

    On Monday, medical examiners were scheduled to conduct an autopsy on the body of Caleb, the son of Kansas state Congressman Scott Schwab*

    It's still unclear what went wrong on the ride, but police say they are not investigating his death as a criminal incident*

    Officials at the park said Monday that they will not be answering any more media questions about the deadly incident*

    On Sunday, officials said ' We honestly don't know what's happened
    '

    By HANNAH PARRY FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
    PUBLISHED: 19:53 EST, 8 August 2016 | UPDATED: 20:27 EST, 8 August 2016

    Witnesses have described gruesome scenes at a Kansas theme park where a boy, 10, was decapitated when he flew off a waterslide and hit a safety net.

    Caleb Thomas Schwab, the son of a Kansas state legislator, was killed after he plummeted from the*168-foot-tall Verruckt ride at*Schlitterbahn Waterpark on Sunday.

    Esteban Castaneda, who was at the Kansas City waterpark, told ABC 7*he heard loud booms coming from the ride before noticing a body wash down after a raft.

    Witnesses have described gruesome scenes at a Kansas theme park where a boy, 10, was decapitated when he flew off a waterslide and broke through safety net*

    When he ran forward to help, he saw a lifeguard desperately trying to hold back a gathering crowd.
    As he looked down, he says he saw the young boy who appeared to have been decapitated.*

    Two women, still strapped into the raft, were injured with another witnesses describing one as having blood pouring down her face.*

    One of those women's jaw was broken and the other had a broken face bone, according to reports.
    They have not been named but one woman described it as the 'worst day of her life.'

    The front seat of the raft - where Schwab most likely sat - was empty.*

    Kansas City Police confirmed the boy had died from*a 'fatal neck injury at the end of the ride.'**
    Another witness Kelsey Friedrichsen said she's seen Caleb fly out of the ride after the first drop and hit the netting enclosing the ride before plummeting 50ft.

    There were also suggestions that the harness on the raft was not working correctly.*

    This file photo shows Schlitterbahn's 168-foot-tall Verruckt speed slide/water coaster in Kansas City, Kansas
    She then saw Caleb's body on the ground and his* family standing nearby crying.

    Castaneda's wife Leslie, told The Kansas City Star that she had seen the blood-streaked ride shortly after the horrific incident and*Caleb's distraught family gathered nearby.*

    'I saw his (Caleb's) brother. He was screaming,' she said. ''I'm really having a tough time with it. I really am.'

    She added that the brother - who had seen Caleb die - told a theme-park worker, 'I just saw my little brother die because of one of your attractions.'

    '(The boy) looked skinny,' she added. 'He shouldn't have been on that ride.'

    Another source at the scene said that the raft did not have enough people inside - it is allegedly supposed to have 400lbs weighing it down.

    The*Verruckt- German for insane - is the highest waterslide in the world. It remained closed today amid*the investigation.*

    Another report says that it used to have an age restriction of 14*when the ride opened*at Schlitterbahn in 2014.

    It also had a*minimum height of 54 inches and a combined weight of all riders in the raft to be between 400 and 550 pounds.

    But officials scrapped the age restriction, deeming the height requirement sufficient.*

    Police spokesman Officer Cameron Morgan said the boy's cause of death has not been confirmed. But officers are conducting a death investigation at the park

    Investigators are treating the death as a 'civil matter' rather than a criminal incident, a police spokesman said Monday, as the park and Kansas authorities pressed to sort out what caused the tragedy.*

    The Wyandotte County coroner's office began a post-mortem examination on Monday. Margaret Studyvin, an administrative assistant with the department, said it wasn't clear when or if autopsy results would be made public.

    Meanwhile, an online fund has raised more than $25,000 to cover funeral expenses for the family **

    Kansas City police spokesman Officer Cameron Morgan said no police report was available of the incident and deferred additional questions to the park.

    In an email Monday, Winter Prosapio, spokeswoman for Schlitterbahn, said the park would not be 'participating in any further media interviews at this time.' A day earlier, she told reporters that Caleb had been at the park with family members, adding 'We honestly don't know what's happened.'

    Riders go down the slide in multi-person rafts. Because of heavy demand, rides are scheduled by reservation at the time the park opens each day.

    The park's website touts the ride as the 'ultimate in water slide thrills,' subjecting 'adventure seekers' with a 'jaw dropping' 17-story drop, 'only to be blasted back up a second massive hill and then sent down yet another gut wrenching 50 foot drop.'
    Verruckt, which means 'insane' in German, was certified as the world's tallest waterslide by Guinness World Records.

    State Rep. Scott Schwab, an Olathe Republican, and his wife, Michele, released a statement asking for privacy as the family grieves.

    'Since the day he was born, he brought abundant joy to our family and all those he came in contact with,' the statement said.

    A funeral for Caleb is scheduled for Friday afternoon at Olathe's Life Mission Church, Kansas.*
    Authorities initially said the victim was 12 years old, but Clint Sprague, a pastor acting as the family's spokesman, said Caleb was 10 and is one of the couple's four sons.

    House Speaker Ray Merrick told the Kansas City Star that Schwab's family was 'the center of his world.'

    The height requirement to ride Verruckt is at least 54 inches tall and riders must be at least 14 years old, according to the park's website. Riders have to climb the ride's 264 steps to the top before taking the 168-foot plunge at 65 mph

    Verruckt's 2014 opening was repeatedly delayed, though the operators didn't explain why. Two media sneak preview days in 2014 were canceled because of problems with a conveyor system that hauls 100-pound rafts to the top of the slide.

    In a news article linked to the news release announcing a 2014 delay, Schlitterbahn co-owner Jeff Henry told USA Today that he and senior designer John Schooley had based their calculations when designing the slide on roller coasters, but that didn't translate well to a waterslide like Verruckt.

    In early tests, rafts carrying sandbags flew off the slide, prompting engineers to tear down half of the ride and reconfigure some angles at a cost of $1 million, Henry said.

    A promotional video for a show about building the slide includes footage of two men riding a raft down a half-size test model and going slightly airborne as it crests the top of the first big hill.

    Prosapio said Sunday that the park's rides are inspected daily and by an 'outside party' before the start of each season.

    Without specifically mentioning water slides, Kansas statutes describe an 'amusement ride' as 'any mechanical or electrical device that carries or conveys passengers along, around or over a fixed or restricted route or course or within a defined area for the purpose of giving its passengers amusement, pleasure, thrills or excitement.'

    Such rides, according to the statute, commonly are known as Ferris wheels, carousels, parachute towers, bungee jumps and roller coasters.

    State law leaves it to the Kansas Department of Labor to adopt rules and regulations relating to certification and inspection of rides, adding that an amusement ride at a permanent location 'shall be self-inspected by a qualified inspector at least every 12 months.'

    Caleb's death is not the first at a Schlitterbahn facility. In 2013, lifeguard Nico Benavides, 20, was killed at the company's park on South Padre Island, Texas, when a mechanical door slammed on the guard's head.
    The park was hit with fines of $96,000 although they settled for $66,000.

    Meanwhile, the Kansas Schlitterbahn has been sued three times since opening in 2014,**although none were related to the Verrückt water slide.*

    Messages left Monday with Kansas' Labor Department were not immediately returned.

    Kansas state Sen. Greg Smith, an Overland Park Republican, said that although state law doesn't specifically address waterslides, it's clear they 'would fall into that category.'

    He called any potential legislative action spurred by Sunday's tragedy premature, saying the investigation of Caleb Schwab's death should be given time to unfold.

    'Until we have those facts it's too early to specify what we can do legislatively,' Smith said.


    Read more: Boy was DECAPITATED after he flew off world's tallest waterslide and through safety net | Daily Mail Online

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    Elite Member CornFlakegrl's Avatar
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    What a horror. That poor family.

    That ride sounds unbelievably dangerous.
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    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    I've never been to that park at all. All the locals know it's dangerous because the employees say so.
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    Elite Member gas_chick's Avatar
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    Sounds like the employees just said eh go ahead and ride when it was clear they didn't meet the weight requirement. So fucked up.
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    Elite Member BITTER's Avatar
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    The name of the ride is "Verruckt". It means "insane" or "crazy" in German. That right there...
    That poor boy, though. What an awful way to die.
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    Elite Member DeChayz's Avatar
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    Oh my God, how tragic. Just the description of the body washing down the slide... Ugh, horrific.
    Quote Originally Posted by greysfang View Post
    I've never been to that park at all. All the locals know it's dangerous because the employees say so.
    There was a park in NJ with a similar reputation, Action Park.
    Due to all the shit that went wrong on those rides, it was more commonly known as Traction Park or Class-Action Park.
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    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    the brother - who had seen Caleb die - told a theme-park worker, 'I just saw my little brother die because of one of your attractions.'
    what an odd thing to say
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    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge."

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    Elite Member rollo's Avatar
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    I don't know. He must have been crazed with grief and anger. It's horrific.
    I have some famous friends and I have mostly not famous friends.

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    Elite Member panic's Avatar
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    what a grisly sight it must've been, especially for his family.
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    Elite Member Charmed Hour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeChayz View Post
    Oh my God, how tragic. Just the description of the body washing down the slide... Ugh, horrific.

    There was a park in NJ with a similar reputation, Action Park.
    Due to all the shit that went wrong on those rides, it was more commonly known as Traction Park or Class-Action Park.
    I LOVED Action Park as a kid.

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twitchy2.0 View Post
    what an odd thing to say
    I thought the same thing, but it appears that it was a distraught witness paraphrasing what the brother said to the park people. Quite frankly, I can't even imagine being able to say anything.

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    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charmed Hour View Post
    I LOVED Action Park as a kid.
    and you're still alive!
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    I feel like everyone had at least one amusement park they went to as a kid that had sketchy rides. My mom was from Wichita, and we would go back to visit a lot. There was a bumper car ride at their amusement park where the cars slammed each other so hard, you wanted to jump out and exchange insurance information.

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    Elite Member SHELLEE's Avatar
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    We always heard that a kid was decapitated on space mountain Disney world. Urban legend. It's whack to see that it really did happen on a ride.
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    I have no words. Simply awful and tragic.

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