• May 24, 2024

Authorities Reveal How Lawmaker’s Son Died Riding World’s Tallest Water Slide

A Kansas waterslide billed as the world’s tallest remained off-limits as authorities pressed to figure out how a state lawmaker’s 10-year-old son died of a neck injury while riding it.

Details remained murky about what happened Sunday to Caleb Thomas Schwab on the 168-foot-tall “Verruckt” – German for “insane” – that since its debut two years ago has been the top draw at Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kansas.

Kansas City, Kansas, police issued a statement late Monday afternoon saying that Caleb suffered a fatal neck injury around 2:30 p.m. while he was riding the slide with two women, neither of whom was related to him. They suffered minor facial injuries and were treated at an area hospital, police said.

Emergency responders arrived to find the boy dead in a pool at the end of the ride, according to the statement, which offered no further details.

In a statement Monday afternoon, Schlitterbahn said it was “deeply and intensely saddened for the Schwab family and all who were impacted by the tragic accident.” The park was tentatively scheduled to reopen Wednesday, but “Verruckt is closed,” according to the statement.

Officer Cameron Morgan, a police spokesman, said no police report about the incident was available. He said investigators were treating Caleb’s death as a “civil matter” rather than a criminal one and referred additional questions to the park.

Schlitterbahn spokeswoman Winter Prosapio declined interview requests Monday but told reporters a day earlier that Caleb had been at the park with family members, adding that “we honestly don’t know what’s happened.”

It wasn’t immediately clear whether results of an autopsy Monday on Caleb would be publicly released or, if so, how soon, said Margaret Studyvin with the Wyandotte County coroner’s office.

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