Family of boy killed on Schlitterbahn waterslide reach settlements

This June 2016 photo provided by David Strickland shows Caleb Thomas Schwab posing with his father Scott Schwab, a Kansas state lawmaker from Olathe. Caleb died Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016, while riding the Verruckt, a water slide that's billed as the world's largest, at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kan. (David Strickland/David Strickland via AP)

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — The family of a 10-year-old boy who died while on a waterslide at a Kansas water park has reached settlements with a general contractor and a consulting company involved in building the towering ride.

Kansas state Rep. Scott Schwab’s son, Caleb, died Aug. 7 while riding on the Verruckt waterslide, a 17-story slide at Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kansas. The waterslide was dubbed the world’s largest but has been closed since the fatal accident.

Schwab testified during a hearing Wednesday that he and his family agreed to the terms of settlements, which were not publicly released, The Kansas City Star reported.  The boy’s mother, Michele Schwab, submitted written testimony.

The settlements were reached with Henry & Sons Construction, the general contractor for the Verruckt, and the Texas-based National Aquatics Safety Company, which consulted on the project. The waterslide is now set for demolition.

An attorney for John Hunsucker, who owns the National Aquatics Safety Company, said Hunsucker and the company continue to deny any liability for the accident but expressed “their deepest condolences to the Schwab family … and are hopeful that the resolution reached will help bring some closure to the those affected.”

The Schwabs have also reached settlements with Schlitterbahn Waterpark and the manufacturer of rafts used on the ride.

Investigators have not publicly spoken about how Caleb died, but a person familiar with the investigation previously told The Associated Press he was decapitated. That person spoke on condition of anonymity because that person was not authorized to speak publicly about the boy’s death.

Caleb was riding a raft down the slide with two women who were treated for facial injuries. A lawyer for the women said Wednesday that they, too, had reached a settlement with the water park.

An investigation by the Kansas City, Kansas, police department has been turned over to the Kansas Attorney General’s Office. A spokeswoman for that office said Wednesday that the matter remains under review.

The water park’s owners plan to permanently remove the slide from its tower once a court rules it is no longer needed for evidence, Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts spokeswoman Winter Prosapio said Wednesday.


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