10-year-old Caleb Schwab, son of a Kansas lawmaker Scott Schwab and his wife Michele, died on Sunday in an accident on a ride at the Schlitterbahn Water Park in Kansas City, a slide promoted as the world’s tallest water slide when it opened in 2014.
The Verruckt ride and the entire park were closed for a full investigation, park spokeswoman Winter Prosapio said. Prosapio “We are saddened to share that a young boy died on Verrückt this afternoon,” Prosapio said. “Given that safety is our first priority, we have closed the Kansas City park today [Sunday] and Monday and have closed the ride pending a full investigation. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time.”
“Since the day he was born, he brought abundant joy to our family and all those who he came into contact with,” the parents said. “As we try and mend our home with him no longer with us, we are comforted knowing he believed in his savior, Jesus, and they are forever together now. We will see him another day.”
According to the park’s website, the slide requires two to three riders to be strapped in a raft with a total weight between 400 and 500 pounds. The raft then “will slide down a jaw-dropping 168 foot 7 inch structure, only to be blasted back up a second massive hill and then sent down yet another gut wrenching 50 foot drop for the ultimate in water slide thrills,” the website said. Each rider is required to be at least 54 inches tall. It was not immediately known on Sunday whether Caleb met the height requirement.