Kansas State Representative Scott Schwab’s son, Caleb — who died at age 10 on Sunday, August 7, in a waterslide accident at Kansas City’s Schlitterbahn Water Park — was decapitated, police confirmed to Time magazine on Tuesday, August 9.
The Associated Press reports that Caleb sustained a “fatal neck injury” close to 2:30 p.m. while riding Verrückt, the world’s tallest waterslide. The boy was found dead at the bottom of the attraction in a pool, according to Time.
Caleb’s father and mother Michele issued a statement Sunday night regarding their son’s tragic death.
“Since the day he was born, he brought abundant joy to our family and all those who he came into contact with,” the distraught parents’ statement read. “As we try and mend our home with him no longer with us, we are comforted knowing he believed in his savior, Jesus, and they are forever together now. We will see him another day.”
Verrückt (which means “insane” in German) was designed for two to three riders to get in a raft and “slide down a jaw-dropping 168-foot, 7-inch structure, only to be blasted back up a second massive hill and then sent down yet another gut-wrenching 50-foot drop for the ultimate in waterslide thrills,” the park’s official website explains. The attraction is 17 stories high and is taller than Niagara Falls.
According to Time, Caleb rode the slide with two women he was not related to. The publication reports that the two unnamed women walked away with just a few minor cuts and scrapes.
While the waterslide requires the two to three passengers to have a combined weight between 400 and 550 pounds, and for each rider to be at least 54 inches tall, it remains unknown if Caleb met the height requirement or if he and his fellow riders met the weight requirement.
Verrückt has been indefinitely shut down until a full investigation has been made. According to ABC 7, a memorial service for Caleb is planned for Friday, August 12.
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