Agents arrest designer of water slide that decapitated 10-year-old boy

US Marshals arrested the designer of a Kansas waterslide that decapitated a 10-year-old child in 2016.

The same grand jury also indicted the Kansas City park and Tyler Austin Miles, its former operations manager, on 20 felony charges.

Caleb was killed when the raft he and two women were strapped into "went airborne and collided with the overhead hoops and netting affixed" to the slide.

Ten-year-old Caleb Schwab died on the water slide in August 2016. Second-degree murder carries a jail sentence of up to 41 years.

Schooley was charged last week with second-degree murder, aggravated battery and aggravated endangering of a child. The attorney general's office said Schooley is not in custody. Miles is now free after posting $50,000 bond. The company said it will fight the charges and would respond to the allegations made "point by point". "The accusation that we withheld information or altered evidence is completely false".

Henry was arrested March 27th in South Padre Island, Texas, by the U.S. Marshals Service.

In the indictment, prosecutors allege Henry hatched the plan to build the water slide in an effort to impress producers of the Travel Channel's Xtreme Waterparks series. Henry's desire to "rush the project" caused the company to "skip fundamental steps in the design process".

Nevertheless, Schooley was responsible for doing "the math" that went into the slide's design.

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Get breaking news alerts and special reports. It said that "not a single engineer was directly involved in Verruckt's dynamic engineering or slide path design" and listed 13 injuries during the 182 days the ride was in operation.

"Verruckt suffered from a long list of unsafe design flaws; however, the most obvious and potentially lethal flaw was that Verruckt's design guaranteed that rafts would occasionally go airborne in a manner that could severely injure or kill the occupants", the indictment read.

The family reached settlements of almost $20 million with Schlitterbahn and various companies associated with the design and construction of the waterslide.

In a statement last week to CNN, the Schlitterbahn Waterpark called Caleb's death "terrible and tragic". "These experts noted that Verruckt's design violated almost all aspects" of longstanding industry safety standards.

The indictment says that a company co-owner, Jeffrey Wayne Henry, was the co-designer of the Verruckt, despite the fact that he "possesses no technical or engineering credentials" and is a high-school dropout.

The indictment said Schooley admitted, "If we actually knew how to do this, and it could be done that easily, it wouldn't be that spectacular". It was the top draw at Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kansas since its debut two years before. The Verruckt slide has been closed since Caleb died.

Schlitterbahn co-owner Jeff Henry is expected to be returned Tuesday night from Texas where he has been jailed on murder charges filed in Wyandotte County.

  • Sonia Alvarado