Latest: Water park 'respects' verdict in waterslide death

10 months 3 weeks 6 days ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 5:09:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
By: The Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The Latest on the trial of two maintenance workers charged with misleading investigators after a 10-year-old boy was killed on a waterslide at a Kansas water park (all times local):

4:45 p.m.

A Kansas water park where a 10-year-old boy was killed on a towering waterslide says it respects the decision of a jury that acquitted two maintenance workers who'd been accused of lying to investigators.

Texas-based Schlitterbahn released the statement after jurors acquitted David Hughes and John Zalsman of obstruction of justice. It says company officials have "maintained our belief in the integrity of our staff and respect the process and decision by the jury."

Hughes and Zalsman were the first workers to go on trial in the August 2016 death of Caleb Schwab. The boy died after hitting a metal pole while on the 17-story Verruckt waterslide at the Schlitterbahn water park in Kansas City.

Prosecutors alleged the men lied about failing to replace a brake mat that fell off the slide two weeks earlier.

The park's co-owner and the ride's designer have also been indicted.

Caleb's father, state Rep. Scott Schwab, had no immediate comment on the verdict.

___

1:25 p.m.

Two Kansas water park workers have been found not guilty of lying during an investigation into the decapitation death of a 10-year-old boy on a waterslide.

Jurors on Thursday acquitted David Hughes and John Zalsman of obstruction of justice.

They are the first employees to stand trial in the August 2016 death of Caleb Schwab. The boy died while riding the 17-story Verruckt waterslide at Schlitterbahn in Kansas City.

Prosecutors say Hughes and Zalsman failed to replace a brake mat that fell off the slide two weeks before the raft Caleb was riding in went airborne, slamming the boy into a metal pole. Two women on the raft were also injured.

Prosecutors alleged the men lied and said the mat had only been used during testing.

The park's co-owner and the ride's designer have also been indicted.

____

11:10 a.m.

Jurors are deliberating in the trial of two water park employees charged with obstructing the investigation into the death of a 10-year-old boy at a Kansas water park.

KSHB-TV reports that the case against David Hughes and John Zalsman went to jurors Thursday morning.

Prosecutors say Hughes and Zalsman failed to replace a brake mat that fell off a waterslide at Schlitterbahn in Kansas City, two weeks before a raft went airborne, slamming Caleb Schwab into a metal pole. Caleb died in August 2016.

Two women on the raft were injured. The prosecution says the men lied and said the mat had only been used for testing.

The park's co-owner and the ride's designer have also been indicted.

___

9:35 a.m.

Testimony has concluded in the trial of two maintenance workers at a Kansas water park who are accused of deliberately misleading investigators after a 10-year-old boy was decapitated on a waterslide.

The Kansas City Star reports that deliberations will begin Thursday after closing arguments are made in the case against David Hughes and John Zalsman. They're charged with obstructing the investigation into the August 2016 death of Caleb Schwab at Schlitterbahn in Kansas City.

Prosecutors say they failed to replace a brake mat that fell off a raft two weeks before it went airborne, killing Caleb. The prosecution says the men then lied.

The defense says prosecutors don't understand how the 17-story Verruckt waterslide functioned. The park's co-owner and the ride's designer have also been indicted in Caleb's death.

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