Tragedy Strikes on Tallest Water Slide: UPDATED
On August 8, 2016, in Kansas City, Kansas, a 10 year-old boy, Caleb Thomas Schwab, son of Representative Scott Schwab and wife Michele, died on the water slide, Verrückt in Schitterbahn Kansas City, best known as Schitterbanh Vacation Village. This water slide stands approximately 17 stories high at 168 ft., 7 in., which is taller than the Statue of Liberty and Niagara Falls. Riders are placed onto rafts in groups of 2-3 people, with a maximum total weight of 400-500 pounds. To ensure they are strapped in safely, riders must also be at least 54 inches in height. At this time, it is unclear whether Caleb met these requirements.
Reporters say on the 2nd hill with a 50 ft. drop is where things went wrong for Caleb Schwab. A witness there at the park reported overhearing another female talking about how she rode the slide multiple times and the front harness was not working. According to park spokeswoman Winter Prosapio, however, there were no complaints or problems with the front harness.
New details are emerging which confirm that Schwab suffered a fatal neck injury - internal decapitation - after being ejected from his seat at the top of the ride's second hill. Reports are beginning to roll in from many riders who claim that their harnesses broke free during the ride and that they were only able to hold own due to their own strength, which young Schwab unfortunately did not have.