Caleb Schwab: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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Caleb Schwab. (Family photo)

The 10-year-old son of a Kansas state lawmaker was decapitated Sunday in an accident on the world’s tallest water slide at Schlitterbahn, a Kansas City waterpark, witnesses say.

Caleb Thomas Schwab, the son of State Representative Scott Schwab and his wife, Michele, of Olathe, died of a fatal neck injury, police said Monday.

Witness Esteban Castenada told ABC 7 News that he heard booms coming from the Verrukt water slide and then saw a body wash down after the raft. He said he saw that the boy was decapitated.

“Michele and I want to thank the Olathe and Kansas City, Kansas, communities and all our friends and family for their outpouring of support and compassion as it relates to the sudden loss of our son, Caleb Thomas Schwab,” the family said in a statement.

The Verrukt water slide opened in 2014. The ride’s name is German for “insane.” According to the park’s website, the slide sends two to three riders on a raft down a “jaw-dropping” 168 foot high, 7 foot wide structure.

Riders, who are strapped in, are then “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 park says on its website.

The two to three riders must have a combined weight between 400 and 550 pounds and must be at least 54 inches tall, according to the park. There is no age requirement.

You can watch a first-person video from the slide here:

Officials initially said the boy was 12, but his family says he is 10. The investigation into the accident is continuing and few details about what happened have been released.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Witnesses Say They Saw the Boy Go Airborne & Hit Netting After the Slide’s First Drop as He Rode the Ride With 2 Adult Women

Witnesses told KSHB-TV they saw the boy fly into the air after the first steep drop, causing him to hit netting. The nets are set up on the sides of the slide as a precautionary measure.

The witnesses said they saw blood on the ride after the accident. Others told the news station that the harness device wasn’t functioning properly.

The park did not confirm those details, saying an investigation is still underway. Police said the detail of what happened are still being investigated.

Police said Caleb was on the ride with two adult women who were not related to him. The women both suffered non-life-threatening injuries and were treated at a local hospital.

Relatives told WDAF-TV on Monday that one woman suffered a broken jaw and the other received a broken bone in her face. She also had to have stitches in her eye.

Caleb was found dead in the pool at the end of the ride, police said.

The husband of one of the women who were in the ride with Caleb said they are also suffering emotionally. He told WDAF they don’t know exactly what happened because of how fast the incident unfolded.

Leslie Castaneda, told KMBC-TV the boy’s brother watched the incident unfold.

“The little boy said to a worker, ‘I just saw my little brother die because of one of your attractions,'” Castaneda said.

Casteneda told the news station the boy went to find his mother, who was on another ride.

(The victim) looked skinny. He shouldn’t have been on that ride,” she said.

Video from a news helicopter showed blood pooled at the bottom of the slide.

Emergency responders were called to the water park at 2:34 p.m. by off-duty police officers working security, the Kansas City Star reports.

The fire department was also called to the scene and is “assisting with the death investigation,” according to a tweet from Chief John Paul Jones.

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2. Caleb’s Family Says He ‘Brought Abundant Joy to Our Family & All Those He Came in Contact With’

Caleb’s family issued a statement about the accident through their pastor:

Michele and I want to thank the Olathe and Kansas City, Kansas,communities and all our friends and family for their outpouring of support and compassion as it relates to the sudden loss of our son, Caleb Thomas Schwab.

Since the day he was born, he brought abundant joy to our family and all those who he came in contact with. 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.

Your continued prayers are welcome and appreciated. We appreciate your understanding of our family’s need for privacy during this difficult time of grieving.

Other family members told WDAF-TV that Caleb loved playing baseball and was very involved in his church.

“They are an amazing, resilient family, full of faith,” Clint Sprague, lead pastor of Life Mission Church, told the Kansas City Star. “They are just grieving their loss right now.”

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses.

Sprague held a press conference Monday on behalf of the family.

“This has been devastating at every level,” Sprague said, according to WDAF-TV. “You know, you leave church, you go to a water park to be with family, and to enjoy. Then you hit tragedy. There’s just no way to prepare for this.”

Sprague said a memorial service will be held Friday at Life Mission Church in Olathe at 2 p.m. It will be open to the public.

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3. Scott Schwab Has Been a Kansas State Representative Since 2008 & It Was ‘Elected Officials Day’ at the Water Park

scott schwab

Scott Schwab. (Kansas Legislature)

Caleb’s father, Scott Schwab, has represented Kansas’s 49th district since 2008, according to the legislature’s website. A Republican, he was previously the district’s representative from 2003 to 2006.

He works in healthcare sales. He and his wife, Michele, live in Olathe, Kansas. They have three other children. Caleb was their youngest son.

“The primary reason for my desire to serve in the Kansas House is to help create an economic environment for kids like mine to have a future here in Kansas,” Schwab told the Kansas City Star during his 2014 re-election bid.

It was Elected Official Day at the water park, and many other lawmakers were there with their families, KSHB-TV reports.

Lawmakers were given free admission and lunch.

“I would hope that all safety formality had been followed and that sadly this is an unforeseeable accident,” State Senator Pat Pettey, who was at the park and whose daughter and 17-year-old grandson rode the water slide Sunday morning, told the Star. “Human error occurs. If that is the case, I’m sure it will be determined in the investigation.”

Pettey said the ride has been popular since it opened.

“I’m sure thousands of people have ridden it this summer alone,” Pettey told the newspaper. “It’s just a terrible, terrible thing that’s happened. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be at any kind of park and have something like that happen.”

Several local politicians expressed condolences on Twitter:

“It is with an absolutely broken heart we have to ask for prayers for the Schwab family who suddenly and tragically lost their sweet and energetic son in an accident today. No words can express the pain we all feel for this terrible tragedy,” House Speaker Ray Merrick told other members of the legislature in an email. “We will share remembrance details when we receive them.”

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4. The Park’s Owner Delayed the Opening of Verruckt & Said It Is ‘Dangerous, but Safe Dangerous’

The 2014 opening of the Verruckt water slide was delayed because of safety issues, KSHB-TV reports. The opening was delayed four times and the park admitted issues with its conveyor system, gearbox and shafts.

“It’s dangerous, but it’s safe dangerous now,” Jeff Henry, co-owner of Schlitterbahn, told USA Today in 2014. “Schlitterbahn is a family water park, but this isn’t a family ride. It’s for the thrill seekers of the world, people into extreme adventure.”

“It’s like jumping off the Empire State Building. It’s the scariest thing I’ve done,” Henry said, after being one of the first to take the plunge.

The park says the ride was recently inspected and has not commented about possible safety issues.

“All rides are inspected every day actually,” park spokesman Winter Prosapio told reporters Sunday at a press conference. “And our rides are inspected by an outside party before the season starts.”

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5. Schlitterbahn Was Closed After the Accident & the Verruckt Will Remain Shut Down

The park issued a statement saying Schlitterbahn was closed down after the accident:

We are saddened to share that a young boy died on Verruckt this afternoon. Given that safety is our first priority, we have closed the Kansas City park today and Monday and have closed the ride pending a full investigation. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time.

Guests who were at the park received refunds in cash or gift cards. A state law requires the ride to be shut down after an accident involving serious injury or death.

The park is tentatively set to re-open Wednesday, with the Verruckt remaining shut down.

Park spokesman Winter Prosapio said they don’t know many details about the accident.

“We honestly don’t know what happened,” Prosapio told reporters. “That’s why an investigation, a full investigation, is necessary.”

She said she doesn’t believe anything like this has happened at the Kansas City park before.

Prosapio did not have any details about procedures the park follows for incidents involving serious injury or death.

“Safety of our guests is a priority. In addition to what happened on the ride, other staff are affected. Our lifeguards are critical. It will be very difficult for them to focus after something like this,” Prosapio told reporters.

One parkgoer told KMBC-TV they were not immediately told to leave.

“The thing that got me was there was no responders. They didn’t make any announcement,” Leslie Castaneda said. “We left 15 to 20 minutes after it happened.”

Schlitterbahn, a family-owned company based in New Braunfels, Texas, operates four water parks in Texas in addition to the Kansas City park.

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  1. The parents weren’t even WITH these kids??? 10 years old? Not old enough to ride!

    Sounds like some more irresponsible parents, one a lawmaker, abound.

        • The article is wrong. Caleb was the second to the oldest boy in their family. He has one older brother and two younger brothers. Mom was with the younger boys on another ride when the accident happened.

    • Hope nothing ever happens to your child and you have internet trolls judging you over it. This family needs prayers not your ignorance

    • He was a ten year old kid. There is supposed to be a ride guide that checks your height and weight, straps you in, etc. So if the patents were the first layer of security, the ride worker was the second. I don’t blame the parents or worker; I am sure that they both feel terrible.

      Accidents happen. A person can do everything right and still be hit by a bus. I would pray that the kid’s older brother fond peace on the heart and not get bitter.

      • “Accidents don`t just happen” -they are caused by people or others not doing their job properly or taking short cuts somewhere along the line

        • NO ONE PLANS AN ACCIDENT! That is why they are called accidents. If someone did something like this on purpose then it would be murder. Unfortunately accidents happen all the time. Are you so perfect that you have never had an accident of any kind? Even forgetting to turn off the burner on your stove and ruin a pan is considered an accident. The person didn’t mean to do that, it just happened. Please don’t be so quick to judge. This family needs prayers and support, not judgement. I pray that God will comfort them during this most difficult time. Caleb is definitely safe in the arms of Jesus.

    • 10 years old is plenty old enough to ride a water ride. He met the hight restriction, there was no reason for the parents to think the ride was unsafe. My 5 year old rides big water slides.

      • This ride isn’t your normal water slide though. Depending on the weight of the other two people he was riding with, there may not have been enough combined weight to keep the float weighted down. Also, at 10, he may not have been tall enough.

        • 54 inches is the fiftieth percentile for 10 year old boys so… .50:50 he was tall enough. You would hope the staff knew how to weight it. could have been a malfunction of the strap as well. Certainly tragic.

            • How do they pair them up since the article says the 2 women in the raft weren’t related to the boy and kinda makes it sound like they didn’t know each other. If that turns out to be the case, why wasn’t his brother with him?

              • I haven’t been there, but I would speculate that the two brothers together would not be enough weight, so they were each put with other adults to meet the weight requirement.

              • The brother didn’t want to ride the ride! I’d never let my 10 year old ride that slide! The parents signed a waiver saying they gave permission for him to ride.

            • Hard to believe 2 women And a child could weigh over 400 pounds He definitely wasn’t over 5’4 which is on website as required height. Just wondering who made the reservation at the opening of Schlitterbaum for Caleb to ride the worlds largest water slide!

    • If I–a 40 year old male of average build and average experience–were to come loose from the raft and collide with a net and walls at 65 mph, I would be critically injured too. That’s an interstate speed. I don’t think his age was that much of a contributing factor.

      • he was 5 years too young to legally ride it. his age is a very big factor in the investigation.
        i didn’t realize willful ignorance is okay when neglect kills a child.
        and i highly doubt the parents of Caleb are reading or will ever read this.
        “heartless bitch…” – you do realize that you can feel sorry for what happened, yet still hold the parents/guides responsible, right? emotions aren’t admissible (nor should they be) in the court of law.

        • You do realize that you sound very ignorant right? there was no age limit on the ride anymore when he rode it, they clearly state there was only a height and weight limit

        • thank you for saying that. i find it pretty sick that the parents are being immediately absolved. it’s negligent at the very least, and no reasonable person would think it’s okay that their *ten year old child* should drop 17 stories at 50-60 mph speeds especially if they have not informed themselves of all the conditions of the ride. even then, it seems to have been in the news quite a bit due to safety controversy. i have taken students to a community pool that had much smaller-time slides, and i would swim-test children that young as well as accompany them up the stairs for the slides and down them as well. they are just babies still at that age and still so small. feel bad for the family, fine, but what about this little child who must have been terrified up to the moment of his death, granted pass by the people charged with his care? i am shocked that people are so willing to overlook that so quickly.

          • Some 10 year olds are small. I was 5 ft tall at 10 and a very good swimmer. I’m only a few inches taller now. I jumped off the high dive at the pool and really tall rocks at the dam. I didn’t need anyone to accompany me up stairs. It’s not accurate to judge what all 10 year olds should do based on a few. That’s why he has parents who can assess things for their child.

                • I feel like I’m in the twilight zone here. How many of you are paid to absolve the parents from any negligence here? It is not reasonable to send a child down a slide that was constructed for thrill seekers. The parents have some responsibility to bear here. Just because some faceless organization looking to turn a profit recently changed some requirements doesn’t mean that anyone should just throw up their hands and say “well accidents happen, leave them alone”. If this child was the son of anyone but a lawmaker or similarly privileged person, the family would not get off so easily nor would there be such a pushback to at least look at how the parents might be negligent. Give ME a break. People need to seriously consider what they allow, and just because a corporation or company says it’s ok doesn’t absolve us from responsibility we should have toward others, ESPECIALLY minors who look to their parents and others to protect them. So bizarre that there is so much pushback. “Trolls” like me are in the minority in these comments sections, too.

                  • I am fine w/ your posts but you’re not very attractive. I would remove your image from your profile or put a more attractive person’s image up there and fake that it’s you. Just my two cents since we’re all offering opinions here.

                  • No your not, I believe too there was negligence. It is what it is. However there is more blame to go around, like the designer, the investors, the park management, the safety testers, the slide employees etc. When I first saw this built, I knew then this was a risky ride. There is no “good” danger that is safe! C’mon give me a break. People have stopped using their common sense–this is a dangerous ride–you take the risk!

                  • So you are saying this was Scott and Michele’s fault! Let me guess…it was intentional right? You are absolutely a heartless human being.

          • Really?! They probably werent with the 10 YEAR OLD kid 24/7 at the park like a 5 year old. And they probably trusted the engineers who built the slide and the workers to enforce the HEIGHT not age restriction. Ignorant asses like you exemplify the definition of hindsight bias. Look it up. “THEY should have known better!” “I would have known my 10 year old kid was about to die! Why werent they watching?!” “I would have been more careful then them!”

          • You are a disgusting, nasty person. People like you simply can’t be bothered with feeling bad for someone else so you look for a way to blame the victims. As if you’re perfect and make the best decisions at all times regarding your kids.
            May you get back everything you vomit out into the universe.

            • I’m not blaming the victims at all. The parents are not the victims and now that his cause of death has been reported on, they should absolutely be scrutinized for their negligent behavior.

          • Hindsight is always 20/20. Life is full of “woulda, shoulda, coulda”. The fact of the matter is that this child was allowed to ride the slide and when one goes to a public amusement park, there is an EXPECTATION to the basic right that the rides are safe to ride for everyone unless otherwise stated. If there WERE conditions required to be met, it’s up to the part to enforce them, not the parents. The park has more knowledge of the ride and its history than would the parents. How about a little compassion for this family and their devastation and some common respect for a child’s life. Our job as parents is to protect our kids, yes, but it is also to teach them to be responsible and to become independent people.

        • There is no age limit! The very first year it opened there was an age limit of 14. The next year they changed it to just height and weight. My 9 year old was to short to ride by my 9 year old nephew was tall enough to ride! He did not have any problems! Something was wrong with this boat and it was a complete accident! People need to Praying for this family instead of trying to blame someone!

        • “Legally ride it”? What law are you even looking at? Stupid people should not comment. You are a pathetic little troll. Age doesn’t mean crap. The laws of physics don’t care how old you are. Height and weight is the only thing that matters.

        • Hindsight bias is expemplified by your comment. You think the parents would really expect for there child to be killed on a ride??? “OH, better stick by my 10year old son 24/7 during our visit to the water park in case he’s KILLED today” Give me a break. And by the way, there was no age restriction. The only restriction was height-54 inches.

        • I personally agree with you since rides designed for adults are done so with specific designations. The harnesses in that ride would NOT have kept a small person or kid secure and he probably flew up and out of the harness. The parents should have been monitoring the rides the kids went on. I do put secondary blame on the operators of that ride for allowing the kid on, but I do not know if they realized the harness wouldn’t hold him in. It’s silly to blame an inanimate object to blame for the poor decisions of others.

          • “I do put secondary blame on the operators of that ride for allowing the kid on, but I do not know if they realized the harness wouldn’t hold him in.”

            They HAVE to know, they are the experts on the ride, not anyone else.

          • Exactly! Maybe I am too simplistic but c-mon people, look at the ride. One look and you can tell it is dangerous or risky. People who want to make money will tell you anything you want to hear like “it is a safe dangerous”. What part of dangerous do people not understand. A young kid like that riding this ride is RISKY. This park was in it to make $$$$. They sold everyone on the fact that this was a SAFE dangerous. It is a business and they only think of profits. Sooo much blame to go around it is not funny. However the parents need to take some part, as far as negligence but to a certain extent. The majority of the blame should be directed at Schlitterbohn. And yes I do feel whole heartedly sorry for the family. The “what if” should kick in, before they can forgive themselves (this will be their own torture) so now lets move on to the big problem—Schlitterbohn. They knew the risk involved and had several complaints and not just for this ride Verruckt, but King Kaw. They will not release records but just inspection reports. Someone was bribed. I am sure they are hoping people pay to get on King Kaw if not the Verruckt. Pathetic.

      • But his young age (10) implies he might not have weighed enough to make his raft hit the 400-pound minimum. Let’s say he’s 75 pounds. The other two women would have to weigh 325 pounds combined– or about 163 pounds each– just to hit the 400-pound minimum. It’s possible they met the minimum, but it’s possible a 75-pound boy got on a raft with two 125-pound women. I see nothing about a brother or fourth person on the ride, though.

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    • There always has to be negativity. Smh maybe you should get your facts straight, they USED to have an age limit. Now it’s only height and a weight limit. I’m so tired of seeing people bash on parents when something goes wrong, it’s not uncommon to let your children ride something while they ride something else. But when it goes wrong “omg they weren’t parenting right” The only people to blame are the people in charge of making sure that slide was safe.

    • I do not think you can take this information for fact, just yet. Please have Mercy. Nothing worse then losing “your” child.:-(

    • At Walt Disney World as well as Disneyland, the minimum age to ride alone is SEVEN. That goes for ANY attraction, no matter how “scary” or “intense.”
      While this is a tragic accident that should never have happened, ten years old is PLENTY old enough to trust with a bit of independence, especially if he was with his older brother.

      • No to mention a full grown adult could have been sitting in that seat and suffered the exact same fate. His weight and age isn’t what killed him. The restraints malfunctioned (from what I deduced from this article, though it’s yet to be confirmed), and with this being a 60 MPH ride, no one could have survived being ejected into a metal bar. If a 50 year old man died, you wouldn’t be saying, “He was too young! Where were his parents?!”
        The parents aren’t at fault here. If a parent was with him, they wouldn’t have been able to save his life. And the boy met all the requirements of the ride.
        This was an accident, so stop blaming the parents who are going to deal with the worst pain imaginable for the rest of their lives.

    • According to other sites, the park had originally planned to use an age requirement but decided to use a height requirement instead (4 1/2 feet tall).

    • I am a mother who’s lost a child. It’s been twelve years. I still have survivor’s guilt and will grieve the rest of my life. I cannot believe someone could say something so hurtful and mean about a grieving family. The park would not allow him to ride if he did not meet the requirements. Do not attack the family.

      • “don’t know nothing about”, lol Becca, we can always tell when the house cleaners comment. Git back to cleaning the white man’s house. Your break is over! LOL

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    • I beg to differ with you I know the father and know what a good man man of faith he is as well as an awesome parent. Caleb was with his big brother.

      What the family needs now is prayer not criticism.

  2. That ride looks dangerous and in my opinion anyone under the age of 21 probably should 1 not be allowed to ride and 2) if they are going to should be wearing some type of motor cycle helmet.


  4. Accidents happen and ten year olds tend to be careless.
    i doubt there is any more to it.
    An unfortunate accident.
    Moving on.

  5. The child was too young to be left alone to ride anything. On top of that the water was brown and dirty. Somethings are common sense, I don’t think I would have let my child on a ride like that unless I was accompanying him/her. My Condolences for the family.

  6. Caleb looks like a great kid and it truly is a tragedy that he had his life cut short. He does look like the kind of kid who brings joy to those around him.
    Having read a bit of his father’s background flipped off my empathy switch and view the situation through an ultra-conservative, analytical lens. The words of the older brother give me chills. What kid says to a park employee “‘I just saw my little brother die because of one of your ATTRACTIONS” as he is running to find his mother. If the scenario did happen and was fabricated by the witness, it seems like a very strange, calculated, and cold reaction. If this were a Hollywood Movie, I’d be making sure the older brother didn’t play a role.

    • This is the worst thing I have ever read. I know these children. They are the closest brothers you could imagine. I pray you never have to face such shocking tragedy. These are children and he just witnessed something that he could not possibly process.

      • A….If you know them, then do you know why the older brother wasn’t on the ride with Caleb? The report says the two brothers took off together.

        • I haven’t been there, but I would speculate that the two brothers together would not be enough weight for the raft, so they were each put with other adults to meet the weight requirement. The older brother was likely on the raft right before or after Caleb’s.

    • Then your prejudices blind you.
      Guess what: Annunaki Lizard people children have feelings too. When I was ten, a soccer teammate broke his arm. Compound fracture, sticking through the skin. He looked at it and matter-of-factly without tears or moaning stated “I think I have a compound fracture.” Stress does things to people that in the short term, that gets them through a crisis. If an ALMOST TEENAGER is educated enough to use three syllable words (as the Schwab family is), then the effect is more pronounced.

      It could’ve been a Republican’s kid or a Democrat kid. It was elected officials day. Maybe it was a promo by the park to keep on the local government’s good side–whatever. But it still was planned family fun day. And a bunch of state and county people from both sides of the aisle were there. And contrary to the idea that they all sleep in their business suits instead of pajamas, and charge themselves in their PAC money cryo-regeneration chamber instead of putting on slippers, they are still everyday people with lives and families and feelings. Especially at that local of a level. The base salary for a Kansas State Assemblyman is 88 dollars a day.

      But here are the answers to your hypothetical charge:
      -They were at a ride — admitted.
      -They were strapped down — admitted.
      -An accident occurred according to multiple witnesses — admitted.
      -Eyewitnesses on the ground saw a child fly in the air on a bump in the ride — admitted.
      -The park says that a child was killed on the ride — admitted.
      -A helicopter shot shows blood all over the water slide–admitted.
      -Multiple paramedic vehicles arrived to examine the child–admitted.
      -The netting over the ride was removed as of today–admitted.
      -The older brother coexisted with the younger brother for at least ten years — admitted.
      -The children somehow were involved in their brother’s death — DENIED.
      -The children are heartless souless lizard people just like their parents — DENIED, in both clauses.

      I probably should’ve just ignored you, but this was the most inflammatory thing I read this week, and I’ve read a lot of inflammatory things.

    • Bethany- are you KIDDING me? Could you imagine a young boy watch his sibling die, and then find it unreasonable when he gets upset over it? If that were my brother, I’d be raising hell! Looks like your “empathetic” switch is perpetually off, now is it?

      • My empathetic switch has not been turned off perpetually. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have posted. I have reread and reviewed why I posted what I did [reiterating that I shouldn’t have posted to begin with!]. As I mentioned at the beginning of my post, Caleb looked like a really neat kid and I imagine his brother was, too. But, because I had read about something mean-spirited the father had done, my empathy switch turned off and I imagined a scenario based on the my perception of the father’s heartlessness being passed on to one of his sons. The scenario about the brother was a scene from a movie that began running in my head and NOT reflective of this family. I apologize to anyone who was offended. It’s also an opportunity to remember that Karma can be a bit ruthless at times. [Fortunately Karma understands that anything I posted was imaginary and so I’ve been absolved from paybacks for this particular incident. However, next time I’m tempted to post something snarky, I’ll refrain.]

  7. may those here that want to trash these parents PLEASE suffer the loss of a child of their own


    leave this family alone – and may god give unto you the same tragedy these poor people have suffered – and may people LIKE YOU – trash you for all you DID WRONG


    • Hey brenda, shouldn’t you be making some man his sandwich or ironing his clothes? Sit down and shaddap!!

  8. I am not passing any judgement on this situation, merely commenting on my reaction to it. I have a 13 year old and a backyard pool. I do not under any circumstances allow my THIRTEEN year old to enter the yard unattended by an adult. My child once, at age ELEVEN, took a friend into the backyard while I was in the front yard with the friend’s parent. Upon finding out that my child and friend entered the backyard without supervision or permission, I scolded my child and had a serious conversation with my child about the matter. So….different parenting styles exist. Not blaming the parents, but absolutely taking measures to minimize disaster.

    • What Junie is really saying is “My kid is alive and their’s is DEAD so WHAM BAM, THANK YA MA’AM!!!!!!!!!!”.
      See? Frostie knows how to translate too!

      • Nope. What I am saying is that different strokes for different folks. I personally would never allow my child unattended around water. Some situations find my stance overprotective, other situations suggest I am doing the right thing. Had I been supervising my child in this situation I would not have been able to stop what happened unless I forbid the actual riding of it…..”which my overprotective” attitude would have mandated.

          • My ballz are big enough to stand up for what my responsibility to my child as well as my homeowners policy requires.

            • I too have a different style of parenting. I like you am overprotective, but I know I can’t foresee everything that can happen to my kids. I did not allow my oldest son who is 11 to go to a school water park outing last Friday. I didn’t think it was safe if I was not there to supervise. I just don’t trust people with my kids. What age would I allow him to go around with an older brother if he had one? I don’t know. I just started letting him go around the block on his bike and I don’t even like that. He’s the only one in the neighborhood who wears his helmet! I don’t think the parents are to blame. They probably didn’t even think he would go on this ride. There are many factors that added up to cause this tragedy. Starting with making this ride in the first place. I know just by looking at the ride it looks rediculous and unsafe for children and probably adults too. We actually saw the documentary making of that ride. They were really pushing the limits of a water park ride. I’m so upset about this story I was losing sleep over it. God help the family. I just can’t stop thinking of the poor innocent kid who didn’t know what was coming.

  9. More rich asholes w no common sense why is it all those who r rich have no common sense and then don’t even watch them on the ride how sickening .and like they need a gofundme why is it ppl donate to the RICH but not those who r truly in need of help?

  10. Very sad. I don’t get how people still believe in gods in modern times-especially when said god just allowed your kid to die in such a horrific way

    • Do better research. God says there will be suffering.
      John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
      He tells us to view the bigger picture.

      • Wow, this tool thinks quoting scripture signifies intelligence and justifies his ignorant, despicable comments and hypocritical ethos. You, sir, are in no position to speak out of your ass in one comment then wax poetic about “Godly” views in the next…what a pathetic jerk.

        • Ahem Mr Ballz whether you agree w/ me or not that’s straight out of the Bible. God says these things so you ain’t arguing w/ me. You’re arguing with God. Read the Bible.

  11. Wait.. 400lb combined weight has nothing to do with a skinny 10yr old that would fly up in the air regardless if the raft stays in the water.

  12. My 12 year old granddaughter was on the ride 2 weeks ago and her harness came apart during the ride. She was able to close it during the ride. Still it malfunctioned. We feel lucky that she is alive.

    • Did ya tell management? Somebody should forced park officials to do maintenance. This shouldn’t of never happened. Even before the accident I read that people had same problem. Why didn’t they shut the ride down?

  13. I’m surprised parents would not only permit him to go on this ride (He’s only 10!) but then not even be there to make sure he got down safely – very irresponsible. My condolences nonetheless since no doubt they loved him

    • I don’t care what the height, weight requirements are for this ride. I would not let my 11 year old on it. It looks dangerous! I don’t trust the makers of this ride or the workers.

  14. The issue is not just height of the boy but his weight and slender frame that slipped out of the seal belt restraint and caused him to go airborne due to inertia. The whole raft needs to have a collective weight, as well, to keep it hugging the water channel.

  15. Ex-Disneyland employee. The flume itself is horribly designed (though not the reason for this accident, but an accident waiting to happen nonetheless.) There should be a lip at the top of each side, to contain the raft itself, and prevent the raft from flipping over. Enough weight thrown to one side at the right time, would turn the entire rafter over, and there’s nothing at the top edges of that flume to prevent it. It’s why roller-coasters have wheels on both top and bottom of the rails to prevent the ride vehicles from leaving the track with enough inertia.

    • Wow, lots of comments and vitriol on this thread that miss the problem looking forward: the lack of regulation that would have prevented such a thing happening. Only in Kansas, and ironically to a Republican (though no one could hold him personally responsible for his party’s control of the (poor) regulatory process.

      • YES x ∞³!!!! I’m coming from the POV from experience with the company who wrote the book on safety – and then shredded that book for $$$. We used to have 3 maintenance works on Pirates of the Caribbean whenever the ride was open. (Back when tickets existed – I’m old.) Now, I hear there are only three maintenance guys for the entire park (Disneyland.) And CA has regulations. We need more.

  16. Weight limit for 2 riders is at least 400lbs, 3 riders is 550lbs. That kid weighed maybe 75lbs, so there was 475lbs of beef from middle to aft of inflatable raft. Kid should’ve been in the middle of raft. not enough weight to hold down the front of the raft

    • From what I read people have had problems with harness coming undone in the past. I do agree tho he should of been in the middle. They should replaced the harness 2 weeks ago. :/

  17. Rip sweet child feel so sad reading this my thoughts are with the family how dare people say it’s the parents u don’t think something like that’s Gona happened at a family day out at waterpark poor little boy!xxx

  18. “The boys’ father, State Rep. Schwab, consistently voted against regulating big businesses. The lax regulations and no height restriction for amusement park rides are the main reasons the park’s owners chose Kansas City to build their water slide.” Such a horrible tragedy for the family. Poor little boy. I feel sorry for the father. Maybe if he vote for businesses to be regulated then his son would probably still be alive. I wish the family peace…

    • You refer to our politically correct “voters must desperately elect governments that “compete” for the affections of CEOs” rule. Ask Roger Ailes for the details.

  19. Why is it necessary to “report” all the gory details. The media should be ashamed of themselves for giving that much information. Imagine if it was your child! Absolutely inappropriate, check your morbid curio usury at the door!

  20. I have a number of things to say.
    1. The company should have protected itself by enforcing stricter regulations for a dangerous ride.
    2. If you are too scared to ride a ride, then it’s probably not a good idea to let your child ride.
    3. Commercial, public establishments have an inferred “safeness”.
    Those three points I made may have varying impacts. The park itself, yes, should have stricter regulations. Are they responsible? Yes. Are they negligent? Maybe. We all know we are putting ourselves in danger any time we go to an amusement park, carnival or even get on an airplane. Why? Because once we turn over control to another human being, it is out of our hands. Is it because “God has a plan”? Is it because the people operating the vessel aren’t concerned with our safety? Is it because the parents don’t care about their children? Probably not. Things happen, they are accidents. Could this have been avoided? Probably. Is one person at fault? No way. Let’s not point fingers, and let this family heal. I’ve not been through this specific tragedy, but my own, and I do know that I let my 7 year old ride roller coasters because he loves it and we’re following the parks regulations.
    This is a horrific tragedy where someone will eventually pay a price, but let’s all hug our children tighter and pray for this sweet boy and his family who were simply trying to have a fun Sunday…..

  21. I see people blaming the parents for letting him ride. While yes there is a risk in riding thrill rides, no one expects the safety restraint to come undone while riding. They are there for a reason, making the choice to ride on a thrill ride is not consenting to death. These are supposed to give the illusion of danger, not actually PUT you in danger. Which is exactly what the designer of this slide did. Look how many safety issues there were with this slide before it opened. Despite tweaking it they still left it where there is a good chance of going airborne at the bottom. And the straps, VELCRO straps, really? Which others were having issues with, and when staff was informed the velcro was coming undone they did nothing about it. The designer of the ride knew there was a chance of dying on this since there is video of him saying he rode while wearing his boots on, at least he’d die with his boots on. Why was this slide opened to the public when they knew it was highly dangerous? The waterpark is at fault here, 100%.

    • Shelly, Velcro works better on the black kids. That’s how ya stop them from jumping up and down on the bed, velcro the ceiling. They just stick right on up there if they do. Didn’t you KNOW that??!! Geez, internet bitch slap on you!

  22. I’m form the Missouri side of this city. Kansas is falling apart bc of far right wing ideology about capitalism and belief in small “government”. This kids parents genuinely prob believed this was a safe ride if the company said so. This terrible tragedy that has happened to them is what us liberals always use as examples of why there need to be regulations on companies and corporations. They trusted that it was a safe ride and some of that may be due to their extreme beliefs. Maybe that is naive, but on some level we all do this, we assume that the government or the corporation must be making sure things are safe, when really no one is. As far as I can tell from the news they are very involved in church and send there kids to a tight knit Christian school with similar values and beliefs. I think calling them irresponsible is a bit extreme; insulated and naive makes more sense to me. Either way, hindsight is 20/20. Blaming the parents seems cruel. They just lost their child. I’m sure they feel bad enough. And my thoughts are with them

  23. If you have to weigh people and they have to be in a range or the raft goes airborne, that ride shouldn’t exist due to being dangerous. There’s video of the rafts going airborne when they were testing it before it ever opened. Because the rafts went airborne, they put steel bars over it and threw netting over the steel bars. It didn’t occur to them you’d hit the steel bars if the raft went airborne?