Caleb Schwab sustained a fatal neck injury as he was riding the the “Verrückt” which is the world’s tallest water slide. The 10 year old boy was decapitated and found dead in a pool at the bottom of the slide.
The accident happened at the Schlitterbahn water park in Kansas. The “Verrückt” which means insane in German was named the tallest water slide in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2014. The opening of the ride was delayed after tests on the 168-foot water slide had rafts flying off the slide (see video below). When the ride finally opened the minimum age to ride it was 14 years old. However a month after the opening the age limit was removed and only the height requirement of 54 inches was kept as a limit to get on the ride.
Caleb boarded the raft with two other women who were not related to him. Both women suffered face injuries. Kelsey Friedrichsen and Josh Foster, a couple waiting at the top of the water slide to be on the next ride told People Magazine that they saw a group of people at the bottom and a woman being treated for injury to her face. Then they saw first responders covering the body of Caleb. “It looked like he must have somehow been ejected from his seat, bounced around between the netting and the slide and just slid down,” Friedrichsen said. “He would have fallen down without the raft. It’s kind of like a tube.” A 14 year old girl who took a ride on the “Verrückt” earlier during the day also mentioned that “toward the end of the ride the Velcro on her belt had come undone.” Investigators are still working on determining the exact cause of the accident.
Water Park accidents are not common but when they occurr they are often fatal. If you or a loved one suffered injury in a Water Park accident you should contact a personal injury attorney. You may have grounds for a lawsuit against the park.
Here are some of the most tragic accidents that happened in the past at water parks:
- In April 2014 a 16 year old girl fell from the hydro, a roller coaster water slide at Oakwood Theme Park in the UK. The park was fined $250,000 for negligence after footage showed that employees neglected to check that the rider’s restraint was in a safe position. The teen was ejected from her seat and fell 100 feet. She died at the hospital from internal injuries.
- In 1997, 33 high school graduates crowded a water slide at Water World in California causing the slide to collapse. The students were trying to break a school record when the accident happened. 30 teenagers were injured and 1 died. The students had ignored the warnings from the security guards. At graduation ceremony 17 students were in wheelchairs to receive their diplomas.
- A student died at Middlemoor Water Park in the UK after he was flung 100 feet from a human catapult and missed the security net. A rope that helped fire the mechanism was changed the day prior to the accident but wasn’t tested.
- In 2009 A hemophiliac tourist died from complications after cutting his toe on Discovery Cove at Sea World
- New Jersey Action Park is considered the most dangerous amusement park ever. Unsafe slides, drunken teenagers and negligent park employees make up a deadly mix. Hundreds got injured at the park and at least 6 people died from injuries sustained on the rides. The park closed but recently reopened under a new name with supposedly safer rides.
- The Tidal Wave pool at action park was the most dangerous attraction of the park. Locals would call it the “Grave Pool“. During the park opening 3 people drowned in the pool.
- One park goer was electrocuted on the Kayak experience ride.
- A man died after he got ejected from the alpine slide.
- The Cannonball Loop was probably one of the most scariest rides ever and was closed one month after it was opened for safety reasons (see video below at 8:17 min)