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Schlitterbahn WaterPark Tragedy Investigation Reveals Grim Details

By Alpert Schreyer on August 11, 2016

Water slideSchlitterbahn WaterPark in Kansas City, Kansas is not granting interviews or otherwise discussing the recent tragedy involving the Verruckt water slide, but the removal of netting from part of the slide indicates that some sort of action is already in progress.

The water park and the Verruckt slide have been at the center of an investigation after 10-year-old Caleb Schwab died Sunday August 7 on the ride.  A recent report states that the boy was decapitated and authorities are still searching for an explanation as to how the incident happened.  He was the son of Rep. Scott Schwab and his wife, Michele, and was one of three passengers on the raft at the time.  The two women who were on the raft suffered injuries including a broken jaw and a broken facial bone.

The construction of the Verruckt (which means “insane” in German) was first announced in November 2012, while the actual height of the ride was not announced in order to ensure that it would be a world record.  At 168 feet, it is one foot higher than Niagara Falls.  The ride was initially set to open in May of 2014, but that date was pushed back as the park encountered problems including sand bags flying off the ride during testing.

After more delays that included modifying and rebuilding sections of the ride as well as cancellation of two days of planned media coverage, the Verruckt officially opened on July 10, 2014.  An insurance company’s private inspection was completed in June of this year, with Schlitterbahn passing the inspection while the report also stated “this survey reflects the conditions observed or found at the time of the inspection only.”  An amusement park safety consultant based in Virginia recently questioned whether a restraint system similar to those on roller coasters would have been better than the hook-and-loop straps that were used on the ride.

The waterslide has been shut down for at least the rest of the season while the investigation continues.  After being shut down for two days for inspection, the rest of Schlitterbahn WaterPark reopened August 10.

Amusement parks have been major summer destinations for families for years.  As thrill rides get bigger and faster, the possibility of injury and even death can become greater.  Accidents can happen, but some can be prevented.  In the case of injury or wrongful death due to the negligence of someone else, you need an attorney who not only understands the law, but also understands the impact that these occurrences can have on your life and your future.  Call the Maryland personal injury law offices of Alpert Schreyer for your free case evaluation where we will listen to you and fight for the best possible compensation for you.  Don’t wait…call or contact us today!

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