A heartbreaking accident occurred over the weekend at Schlitterbahn Water Park in Kansas City, Kansas. On Sunday, 10-year-old Caleb Thomas Schwab died on a ride called the Verrückt, a 17-story tall water slide that the park advertises as the “World’s Tallest Water Slide.”
Schwab visited the park with his father, Olathe representative Scott Schwab, as part of elected officials day.
Although it has been confirmed that Schwab died during an accident on the Verrückt, no information regarding the actual cause of death has been released at this time. Immediately following the accident, all visitors to the park were removed and the park was closed. The park remains closed today while officials perform a full investigation.
After the death of their son, Scott Schwab and his wife Michele released a statement that read:
“Michele and I want to thank the Olathe and Kansas City, Kansas communities and all of our friends and family for their outpouring of support and compassion as it relates to the sudden loss of our son, Caleb Thomas Schwab.
Since the day he was born, he brought abundant joy to our family and all those he came in contact with. As we try to mend our home with him no longer with us, we are comforted knowing he believed in our Savior Jesus, and they are forever together now. We will see him another day.
Your continued prayers are welcome and appreciated. We appreciate your understanding of our family's need for privacy during this difficult time of grieving."
The water slide has been running since 2014, yet many still question the safety of the tall thrill ride. On the Verrückt, riders sit in a multi-person raft that takes a steep, 168-foot plunge. During the initial testing of the ride, engineers experienced several setbacks.
"We had so many issues on the engineering side," Jeff Henry, an engineer for the ride, said. "Our correction coefficients were all off. Models didn't show air and water friction. A lot of our math was based on roller coasters at first and that didn't translate to a water slide like this. No one had ever done anything like this before."
The KCTV5 Twitter page will update as more information about the Schwab becomes available.
(Photo from top: John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/TNS via Getty Images)