After a court dropped murder charges against the waterpark owner, the family of a 10-year-old child who died from decapitation on the ‘world’s highest waterslide’ won $20 million (£15.6 million) in compensation.
Caleb Schwab died on August 7, 2016, at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas, after his family was granted free entrance as part of an ‘elected officials day’.
The park contained 14 waterslides and two pools, but the primary attraction was the Verrückt, which means ‘Insane’ in German and was the world’s largest waterslide.
Caleb and his brother Nathan wanted to ride the waterslide, which stood about 169 feet tall, and told their parents they’d ride together, but ride workers separated them away to fulfill weight limits on the rafts people rode down the slide on.
Nathan was sent down first, and both boys ended up riding with two strangers. Caleb, on the other hand, was thrown down after him at speeds of up to 70 mph. The 10-year-old youngster was flung from his raft and struck the safety netting, where he was decapitated and died.
Nathan had to inform the rest of his family what had occurred, and the matter proceeded to court, with a grand jury charging Schlitterbahn owner Jeff Henry, designer John Schooley, and Henry & Sons Construction Co. with second-degree murder.
Aside from the murder accusation, there were 12 charges of aggravated violence and five counts of endangering a child.
But after many years, a court rejected all of the allegations on the basis of grand jury abuse, citing occurrences such as the grand jury members being shown a dramatized, made-for-TV movie of the ride.
The film did not demonstrate how the ride truly functioned, and the grand jury was not informed that the video was a dramatization.
The defense also claimed that jurors were instructed that the waterslide was not constructed to sufficient standards, although the State of Kansas did not require such criteria at the time the attraction was created or at the time Caleb died.
Rather, the statute was strengthened in the aftermath of the 10-year-old’s death, and the defense contended that if the jurors had been provided with this information, they could have determined that the water park had broken the law.
The charges were dropped in 2019 by Judge Robert Burns, who said that the court has serious questions as to whether the irregularities and improprieties improperly influenced the grand jury and eventually bolstered its decision to indict these defendants. Quite simply, these defendants were not afforded the due process protections and fundamental fairness that Kansas law requires.
Caleb’s family had already collected roughly $20 million in settlements, and the two other passengers on the raft with him had also received undisclosed fees as settlements.
The Schlitterbahn waterpark closed in September 2018, and the Verrückt was forever shut down after Caleb’s death and ultimately demolished.
- Will Smith Revels in Jada Pinkett Smith’s Bestselling Book: ‘Congrats, Mama!’Will Smith is pleased with his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s […] More
- Paris Hilton Opens Up About Her Emotional Distress Following Hurtful Comments Regarding Her Son’s HeadParis Hilton has expressed her sadness regarding the response to […] More
- Will Smith describes his marriage to Jada as a “sloppy public experiment in unconditional love” during a book talkWill Smith made a public appearance alongside his wife, Jada […] More