Owned by Cedar Fair, Schlitterbahn has been voted the world’s best waterpark for years. Previously owned and operated by the Henry family based in Texas, its first location, Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort, was opened in 1979. Their outdoor parks typically operate from April through September and the indoor parks are operated all year long.
The Water Slide Accident
Back in 2016, The Schlitterbahn waterpark witnessed a horrific accident in Kansas City. A 10 year old boy was killed in an accident while riding one of the rides in the water park. Caleb Thomas Schwab, son of Kansas state Rep. Scott Schwab was tragically decapitated while he was on the 168ft-high ride “Verruckt” meaning “insane” in German. The slide has 264 stairs leading to the top and is taller than the statue of Liberty.
Witnesses describe the incident as horrific and exclaimed how the visuals will be stuck in their memory for the rest of their lives. The police reports describe the incident as death due to fatal neck injury and also revealed that that two women sitting behind Caleb in the raft suffered from severe facial injuries.
The particular ride has since been demolished. It was certified as the tallest water slide by the Guinness World Records. According to the park’s website, the Riders go down the slide in multi-person rafts and have to be at last 54 inches tall.
A lot of People who had ridden the Verruckt have revealed that safety was never as bullet- proof as they would want it to be as little things like the nylon shoulder straps coming off during the ride, and the likes, persisted. Riders are saddled in with two nylon safety belt like ties — one that crosses the rider’s lap, the other extending corner to corner like a vehicle shoulder safety belt.
Each strap is held set up by long Velcro-style ties, not by clasps. Riders additionally hold tight to ropes inside the raft. Safety consultants, upon being asked, have said that more solid restraint system that fits over the body — similar to those used in roller coasters — may have been better.
The creator of the ride, has revealed that they had faced difficulties while engineering the ride with test runs after seeing the rafts catapult off the track. Jeff Henry, Schlitterbahn’s co-owner, and John Schooley, the ride’s lead designer, are facing second-degree murder charges. Miles, the park’s operations manager, is facing a charge of involuntary manslaughter.
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