Report: Water Slide Raft Carrying Slain 10-Year-Old Met Ride’s Weight Requirement
The raft that was carrying Caleb Schwab on the “world’s tallest” waterslide before his death met the weight requirement, according to a report.
A police report, obtained by People magazine, said that the combined weights of Caleb, 10, and two sisters riding the raft on the Verruckt water slide ride at Schlitterbahn Water Park in Kansas met the ride’s 400-pound minimum.
Caleb weighed 75 pounds, one of the women weighed 197 pounds, and the other woman weighed 275 pounds. The requirements for the ride say that three riders and the raft should have a combined weight of between 400 pounds and 550 pounds, the police report said. The combined weights of the three riders and the raft was 545 pounds.
Each rider has to be 54 inches to get on the slide. Caleb’s height was approximately 5 feet, or 60 inches, the report said.
“This isn’t going to be a quick investigation,” Kansas City Police Department officer Thomas Tomasic told People.
The ride, which can hit speeds of about 70 mph, also uses VELCRO-like fastener material. Caleb sat in the front seat as the two women were seated behind him, the People report said. Previous news reports said they are not related to Caleb. An amusement park official, who remained anonymous, told the magazine that the material shouldn’t have been used on the ride.
“We contacted the Kansas City Police Department who confirmed that the weight listed in the preliminary police report is obtained from drivers’ licenses and is not accurate; they have confirmed that the weight of the riders combined was within the limits required by the ride,” Schlitterbahn spokeswoman Winter Prosapio told People magazine.
Authorities have not said how the accident took place. Schlitterbahn said the Verruckt, which is German for “insane,” will stay closed for the remainder of the season, The Associated Press reported.
“I would assume and hope that the Legislature would spend significant time in looking at the issue, and we will, as an administration,” Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback told reporters last Friday. “I think that all needs to be looked at now in light of this tragedy.”