Witness accounts of the death of 10-year-old Caleb Thomas Schwab have revealed incredibly graphic details about the moment the boy died.
Caleb, the son of Kansas Representative Scott Schwab, was killed on Sunday when he rode the Verrückt Water Slide at Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City. When the announcement of his death was released, no details about the cause of death were confirmed. Now, a witness has come forward to describe the horrific incident.
Esteban Castaneda, who witnessed the incident at the water park, said that he heard booms coming from the area of the slide and then saw a body wash down the slide directly after the raft did.
When Castaneda ran to the bottom of the slide to see what occurred, he saw what appeared to be a decapitated boy.
Officials have announced that, while riding the 168-foot tall water slide, Schwab was ejected through the harness of his raft and hit the top safety netting of the slide. It is believed that this occurred when Schwab and the two other passengers in the raft were going over the second major drop. His body was then carried down the rest of the slide, where it washed up in a pool of water at the end.
Castaneda had ridden the slide earlier in the day with his cousin's 14-year-old daughter. During their ride, the 14-year-old told him that her safety belt's Velcro came undone toward the end of her ride.
After the death of Schwab, additional riders are coming forward to discuss safety concerns they have had with the ride in the past.
Last summer, Kenneth Conrad and his best friend Matt rode the Verrückt. After the first drop, Matt's Velcro harness snapped off and he was forced to hold on using his hands and feet until the end. During the ride, their raft reached speeds of up to 65 miles an hour.
“As we were going down, we went down the first one, and as we were approaching the second one, he was in the back and you could hear him say that his strap came off,” Conrad told Fox4. “When we hit, he was real tense, shaken, because his strap had come completely off and literally he was using all of his force to hold him onto the slide.”
Now that the ride has caused the death of a child, Matt plans to file a complaint to report the incident.
(Photo: AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)