Six months after a 10-year-old boy, Caleb Schwab, was decapitated while riding the world’s tallest water slide in Kansas, his parents are still grieving his untimely death, ABC News reports.
Caleb’s father, Scott Schwab, — a House Representative from Olathe — and his mother, Michelle, are speaking out for the first time about his unimaginable death in an interview, which was aired on Good Morning America.
Scott stated that he recalls his final words to his son before he was killed on Verrückt, which means insane in German, and it was famous for reaching speeds as fast as 70 mph.
On August 7, 2016, Scott took his family of six to the Schlitterbahn Vacation Village’s water park in Kansas City, Kansas, which was free admission for all Kansas state legislators and their families.
— 41 Action News (@41actionnews) January 12, 2017
Upon arrival, Caleb and his 12-year-old brother, Nathan, wanted to head off with friends to search for the ride, Verrückt, but before they left their parents’ sight, Scott reminded his sons that “brothers stick together.”
“I know Dad,” Caleb replied.
Scott reiterated: “Look at me, brothers stick together,” not knowing that those would be the last words he would ever say to his son, and the last time he would see Caleb alive.
The brothers set off into the park and a short time later, tragedy struck.
While Nathan was reportedly waiting for Caleb at the bottom of the world’s tallest water slide, it is believed that the rafter he was riding with two other women went airborne due to uneven weight.
One woman suffered a broken jaw, while the other sustained a broken bone in her face, but Caleb’s injuries were regrettably fatal.
Nathan saw the incident and immediately ran toward his mother, screaming “he flew from Verrückt! He flew from Verrückt!'”
That’s when Michelle attempted to run to the scene, but she claims an unidentified man wouldn’t allow her to get too close to the scene.
“He just kept saying, ‘No, trust me, you don’t want to go any further,'” Michelle said. “I kind of knew in my mind that I shouldn’t see it, that I probably don’t want to see it.”
— Matt Gutman (@mattgutmanABC) February 14, 2017
Investigators say while Caleb was riding the world’s tallest water slide, something went terribly wrong and he was decapitated. The boy’s body was found at the bottom of the slide.
After learning that Caleb had been decapitated while on the water slide, the boy’s father was stunned and needed confirmation. He asked a complete stranger to confirm his son’s death.
“I said, ‘I just need to hear you say — is my son dead?’ and he just shook his head,” said Scott Schwab. “I need to hear it from you… is my son dead? And he said, ‘Yes, your son’s dead.'”
Months after the water slide accident, Caleb’s family reached a settlement for an undisclosed amount with the Schlitterbahn Water Park in Kansas that will go toward his three brothers.
“It’s an accident, but there is an accounting because someone was negligent,” said Scott.
— 6News Lawrence (@6NewsLawrence) January 14, 2017
However, the family is still hurting.
“There’s so much the family misses about Caleb, especially his hugs. Giving him hugs,” Michelle said, “hearing about his day, watching him play soccer, I mean, so much, so many things.”
The Schwab family agreed to speak about their son’s water slide accident for the first time to “express their gratitude for the support they have received” and to keep Caleb’s memory alive.
“We have a box of greeting cards from around the world, and we just want people to know that one, we’re thankful,” said Scott Schwab. “And yeah, we’re still hurting, but we’re going to be okay.”
[Featured Image By Charlie Riedel/AP Images]