A mother had to stay away from horror when her 10-year-old son was beheaded on a water slide at Schlitterbahn water park. Caleb Schwab died in front of his family in Kansas while riding the 168-foot water slide, believed to be the world’s tallest.
Caleb, the son of Republican Congressman Scott Schwab, died at the Verruckt attraction at Schlitterbahn Water Park in Kansas City. The 168-foot Verruckt, which means “crazy” in German, has been certified by Guinness World Records as the world’s tallest water slide.
Witnesses said he flew out after the first drop fell and hit a net that surrounded the car. Caleb was killed when his raft flew over the slide’s 50-foot hump and collided with the metal pole supporting the safety net above it.
The two women who were driving with him suffered minor injuries. Shocked amusement park visitor had to stop his mother Michelle from the horror.
Her son’s head and body were ejected from the raft and landed on a slide. Witness Melanie Gok told CNN, “I heard the noise and immediately looked over and saw that his neck was broken and he slid down the slide leaving a trail of blood.”
Her friend Jess Sanford added: “I just saw Caleb slide down the second half of the slide and then I saw blood. His friend was screaming for help, I think it was staff, While the paramedics waited to escape.”
Those who found him first “just realized he was dead and didn’t try to bring him back to life,” she added. Also waiting down the driveway was Caleb’s brother Nathan, 12, who was supposed to be with him – but saw him dead. Scott’s dad, who has lived in Kansas for ten years, told Good Morning America that the last time he spoke to Caleb was before he and Nathan left the drive, which has now been dismantled.
Following the tragedy, Michelle spoke on the show about her eldest son screaming in horror after the fatal accident. The heartbroken mother went on to add that when she tried to see what happened to her son, a man stopped her from going on.
Michelle continued, “There was a gentleman who wouldn’t let me get close enough to see what was going on, and kept saying, ‘No, trust me. You don’t want to go any further.'” At the time, Scott said, he had many The man, who was in a state of shock, was asked again if his son had lost his life.
He asked, “I just want to hear from you, my son is dead.” He just shook his head and I said, ‘I need to hear from you, is he dead? “He said, ‘Yeah, your son is dead.'” I don’t even remember driving home. They both revealed heartbroken that they missed hugging little Caleb the most, with Scott saying he especially missed the “morning hug” with his son, who was taken from him.
One witness described the scene as “the worst day of her life”.
Other traumatized witnesses said they saw Caleb’s family cry as emergency services treated two other women on the raft. According to the park’s website, riders must be at least 54 inches tall to slide down the slide on a multi-person raft.
Since the ride was closed, concerns about its safety had existed long before the accident, with former employees saying there was insufficient rider inspections and staff training. The opening of the 17-storey free-fall water ride has apparently been delayed twice, with footage of the ride being tested showing rafts flying off the giant ride.
When it first opened in 2014, co-owner and Verruckt creator Jess Henry told USA TODAY, “We had a lot of problems with the technology.” A lot of our calculations started out as roller coasters, but that didn’t translate to Such a waterslide. No one has ever done anything like that. “
Taller than the Statue of Liberty and Niagara Falls, the journey terrified even its creators. John Scully, who designed the Killer Slide, said he “didn’t know if he would survive the ride” during testing.
Schooley and his co-owner Jeff Henry were initially charged with manslaughter and a number of other counts related to Caleb’s death, but those charges were dropped in 2019 due to “unacceptable evidence and testimony.”