The latest: 2 riders say Kansas waterslide had loose straps

7 months 1 week 6 days ago August 09, 2016 Aug 9, 2016 Tuesday, August 09 2016 Tuesday, August 09, 2016 3:02:00 PM CDT in News
By: The Associated Press

KANSAS CITY (AP) — The Latest on the investigation into the death of a boy killed while riding the world's tallest waterslide at a water park in Kansas City, Kansas (all times local):

12:20 p.m.

At least two people who've ridden the waterslide on which a 10-year-old boy was killed over the weekend say shoulder straps snapped or popped off during the ride in Kansas City, Kansas.

Paul Oberhauser told local television station KCTV that the safety restraints on his raft on the Verruckt waterslide weren't working properly when he rode it on July 26 at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark.

The Nebraska man says his shoulder strap "busted loose" during the ride and he "just held on." A video shot by his wife shows it loose at the ride's end. He says he told workers about the loose strap.

Kenneth Conrad told WDAF-TV that he rode the waterslide last year with a friend whose shoulder strap came "completely off." Conrad's wife snapped a photo at the end of the ride showing the strap missing. Conrad says he didn't file a complaint with the park.

The park's spokeswoman didn't immediately return a message Tuesday from The Associated Press seeking comment on the claims.

___

12 p.m.

A funeral is set for a state lawmaker's 10-year-old son who was killed while riding a Kansas waterslide billed as the world's tallest.

Police say Caleb Thomas Schwab died Sunday of an unspecified neck injury while riding the 168-foot-tall Verruckt at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kansas.

Neither investigators nor park officials have released specifics about how the boy sustained his fatal injuries. Caleb was the son of Republican state Rep. Scott Schwab.

A family spokesman, the Rev. Clint Sprague, says visitation will be held Thursday evening at LifeMission Church in Olathe. A memorial service is scheduled for Friday afternoon.

The park is tentatively scheduled to reopen Wednesday, though the waterslide remains closed.

___

11:35 a.m.

A spokesman for police in Kansas City, Kansas, says the death of a boy killed while riding a waterslide at a local water park is considered a criminal investigation because a death was involved.

Officer Cameron Morgan confirmed Monday that police were investigating the death of 10-year-old Caleb Schwab. He said investigators didn't believe anything criminal happened, so it would be a "civil matter."

On Tuesday, he clarified that the investigation is a criminal case because a death was involved, as is standard procedure. He reaffirmed that police don't believe any criminal wrongdoing occurred and are investigating to rule out that any crime was committed.

Caleb was one of three passengers riding in a raft on the Verruckt waterslide at Schlitterbahn Waterpark when the accident occurred. Emergency responders found the boy dead in a pool at the end of the ride. The other passengers sustained minor facial injuries.

___

1 a.m.

Kansas City, Kansas, police say a 10-year-old boy who was killed while riding the world's tallest waterslide died of a neck injury.

Police say Caleb Schwab was one of three passengers riding in a boat Sunday on the Verruckt waterslide at Schlitterbahn Waterpark.

According to a police statement, an off-duty officer working at the water park notified dispatch of the accident around 2:30 p.m. Emergency responders arrived to find the boy dead in a pool at the end of the ride.

Police say two women who also were in the boat — but not related to the boy — sustained minor facial injuries and were treated at area hospitals.

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