Nate Schwab, 12, was at the top of the Verruckt water slide at the Schlitterbahn water park in Kansas City with his 10-year-old brother, Caleb. The pair had hoped to ride the “World’s Largest Waterslide” together. However, once the boys made it to the rafts, the operator informed the pair that they would not be able to ride together, as they would not meet the ride’s weight limit. Therefore, Nate got into a slide with two adult strangers and Caleb piled into a raft behind him with two adult women. Nate finished his ride and stood to the side waiting for Caleb to make his way to the bottom of the slide. However, Nate says instead of seeing his brother return in the raft, he saw his decapitated bloody body return instead.
— DW – SciTech (@dw_scitech) August 8, 2016
The Daily Mail reports that Caleb Schwab was killed in a horrific accident on the Verruckt water slide at a Kansas City park. The boy was reportedly thrown from the raft into the ride’s protective netting as his raft came to the second drop. The official report from police reveals that the velcro straps came undone during the ride and the child was thrown from the raft, hitting his head on a metal support beam holding up protective netting at a speed of 65 MPH. Police revealed that the force of the accident decapitated the child and sent his bloody body down the slide in front of the raft.
“The velcro strap that should have held Caleb in the raft failed, and he was launched into the netting. His head collided with one of the metal hoop bars supporting the netting. At 65 miles per hour, Caleb’s head was decapitated above the shoulders.”
However, what was not previously known was the circumstances that led to Caleb entering the ride. Nate Schwab, Caleb’s older brother, says that the pair wanted to ride the water slide together, but once they made it to the top of the slide they were informed by ride operator’s that they would not be able to ride together as they did not weigh enough. Each raft is required to weigh at least 400 pounds to ensure the raft does not become airborne. Therefore, with both of the brothers being so small, the ride operator told them they would have to separate and each ride with two other adults. Therefore, Nate got into a raft first with two adult strangers and Caleb got into a raft behind him with two adult females they did not know.
— Parenting.com (@parenting) August 10, 2016
Nate rode down the slide first and successfully made it to the bottom. After exiting the raft, Nate waited at the bottom for his brother. However, instead of greeting his brother at the bottom, Nate would end us watching in horror as Caleb was thrown from the ride and killed. A witness to the accident told KMBC that Nate was hysterical as he saw his brother’s death and screamed in horror telling the ride operator that the slide had killed his brother. Nate then reportedly ran off into the park to find his mother.
“The little boy said to a worker, ‘I just saw my little brother die because of one of your attractions.'”
Following the deadly waterslide accident, Kansas Senator David Haley is demanding that the state adopt stricter ride regulations.
— Hunter Woodall (@HunterMw) August 9, 2016
The call to action comes as it was revealed that the Verruckt waterslide was built in Kansas due to their lax regulations and that the slide likely would not have been able to operate in any other state due to safety concerns. In fact, others who rode the Verrückt in the past claim that the slide had a history of safety problems. Numerous riders say that their velcro belts came undone during the ride and were forced to hold onto the handlebars inside the raft instead.
[Photo by Charlie Riedel/AP Images]