Some new details in the Caleb Schwab death are emerging with a witness giving her account of how the 10-year-old boy was killed on a water slide at Schlitterbahn Water Park in Kansas City, Kansas on Sunday. The child was riding on the Verruckt water slide when he died.
Kelsey Friedrichsen was visiting the park with her boyfriend when they were bore witness to some tragic events. The pair were going up the steps to reach the top of the mammoth Verruckt water slide around 3 p.m. when they spotted a large gathering of people at the bottom of the star attraction. They didn’t notice Caleb right away, but a second victim who’d been injured.
“There was a woman being treated for some kind of injury on her face and head,” Kelsey told People magazine. “That was when my boyfriend said, ‘I think there is someone else.'”
It was then the pair realized something very bad had happened. First responders were covering the body of Caleb. Kelsey said she and her boyfriend held each other and “had a little emotional breakdown” after they moved away from the area.
Investigators haven’t released any information in the Caleb Schwab death. Kelsey doesn’t believe the boy fell, however. She has her own theory on how was killed at the water park on the slide.
“It looked like he must have somehow been ejected from his seat, bounced around between the netting and the slide and just slid down,” she says. “He would have fallen down without the raft. It’s kind of like a tube.”
Kelsey went on to say that amid the horrific scene, everyone was “calm and somber.”
When Kelsey and her boyfriend exited the park, their car was directly across from what might have been Caleb’s family members or their friends. She said the people were being escorted to their vehicle by police and were clearly in distress.
Kelsey can’t help but think Caleb’s death resulted from an issue with the harness or sizing.
Schlitterbahn is slated to reopen on Wednesday, but Verruckt will remain closed until a thorough investigation is complete.
“We are deeply and intensely saddened for the Schwab Family and all who were impacted by the tragic accident on the Verruckt water slide at Schlitterbahn Kansas City on Sunday afternoon,” part of Schlitterbahn’s statement reads. “The family and each and every one of those affected are foremost on our minds and in our hearts today. We ask the community to please keep all of those impacted in your thoughts and prayers.”
— Dr. Brandon Whipple (@BWhippleKS) August 8, 2016
Some additional information into Caleb Schwab’s death was released on NBC News. According to the report, Caleb was in a carriage with two women just prior to the tragedy. The autopsy showed that he died of “an unspecified neck injury at the end of the ride in the water pool,” Kansas City police said. The two other women he was riding suffered minor facial injuries. Neither one was related to the child.
The Verruckt water slide is 169-feet-high and travels at 65 mph. Its famous motto is “R U Insane?” and is in the Guinness World Records as the world’s tallest water slide.
It’s also been revealed in reports that Caleb is the son of Kansas State Rep. Scott Schwab of Olathe. The pastor of their church, Clint Sprague of LifeMission Church, said the family almost didn’t go to the water park due to cloud cover. When the clouds lifted, they proceeded with their plans for the day.
— FOX 4 News (@fox4kc) August 8, 2016
Sprague is reportedly serving as the family’s spokesperson.
“They’re a powerful family, a powerful family. Amazing,” said Sprague, who is serving as a spokesman for the family.
It’s unknown how long the water slide will remain closed or when the public will be apprised of more details surrounding Caleb Schwab’s death.
[Photo via Shutterstock]