KS - Caleb Schwab, 10, dies on 17-story Schlitterbahn waterpark slide, Aug 2016

Discussion in 'Crimes in the News' started by wfgodot, Aug 7, 2016.

  1. PeggyAnnMcKay

    PeggyAnnMcKay Why yes, yes I am a Shel Silverstein fan.

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    Just now catching up on this thread and wow - so heartbreaking. I can't even begin to imagine what the parents must be going through. I am SO glad that WS is a victim-friendly site. The things I have read where so many are saying horrible things about the parents just break my heart. I have no idea how people can be so insensitive and so cruel. These parents just lost their child - do people on the Internet think that they are doing anything BUT second guessing every.single.last.decision they made that tragic day? They are living in their own hell and I just can't believe the audacity people have with their words. Boy anonymity sure is a great thing for the trolls huh. </rant>

    Stepping down now...
     


  2. RT51

    RT51 Active Member

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    You can be "decapitated" without the head being detached from the body. I saw on msm today that it was a neck injury which could mean internal decapitation. Still horrific, either way. JMO
     
  3. Wyle_E_Coyote

    Wyle_E_Coyote Northern Virginia

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    Some insight into the "inspection" process.

    http://wtop.com/national/2016/08/police-kansas-boy-suffered-fatal-neck-injury-on-waterslide/

    Kansas statutes governing amusement rides don’t specifically mention waterslides. State law leaves it to the Kansas Department of Labor to adopt rules and regulations relating to certification and inspection of rides, adding that a permanent amusement ride must be scrutinized at least once a year by “a qualified inspector.”

    Regulations require only that owners of permanent amusement rides retain records for a year and rides are randomly selected quarterly for a records audit.

    Documents released Tuesday by the state department showed that in June 2012, a records audit found that the park was not maintaining records of testing for current and previous years. The report said that instead of such testing, “visual inspections are conducted annually and daily.” There was no record of a state response, and the audit was marked “pass.”

    There were no indications of further records audits, and department officials did not immediately answer questions about why that was so.


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  4. 1&2&3

    1&2&3 Well-Known Member

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    Is it a reasonable thing to say or think that the hoops supporting the safety netting could actually have been the factor that caused Caleb's death? Hitting those at the speed the raft was going, would cause great injury to a person's body.

    Of course if the netting was not there, well, we all get the picture.

    The add on netting actually was a poorly designed cheap method to open the ride with a false sense of security.

    My opinions only.
     
  5. Wyle_E_Coyote

    Wyle_E_Coyote Northern Virginia

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    It shouldn't be that hard. Why not have the rafts affixed to tracks to prevent them from becoming airborne? And real harnesses with metal buckles instead of crappy Velcro? I don't understand the complete disregard of what are pretty standard safety measures in rides.

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  6. Marah

    Marah Active Member

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    Has it been reported how tall he was and how much he weighed?
     
  7. Desertwind

    Desertwind Member

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    Prayers for the Schwab family; what a horrible tragedy. I remembered watching the testing of this ride on Travel channel; and am not sure why the age requirement was relaxed. I would also say that while I'm a big fan of these adrenaline type rides, this one's raft doesn't look safe to me. Whenever I stand in line for riding these thrill seeker rides, I always double check my harness, etc. But this particular ride doesn't seem to have much in the way of restraints. Hopefully they will make some modifications if they reopen.
    Kids are sometimes too fearless. Just a couple of weeks ago, I was at an amusement park with my great nephew and we rode a chair lift. He is very tiny. At first, be was terrified, so sat way back. After a minute or two, he was leaning forward, and my heart was in my throat thinking how easy it would be for him to fall out. I made him sit all the way back! I didn't even consider it when we got on.
     
  8. mrsu

    mrsu Well-Known Member

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    I have been so upset since hearing this. Just absolutely tragic!

    I am somewhat local and according to a witness who was interviewed on the news (nobody that has been interviewed for articles), she was walking toward the slide and heard a bunch of screaming. When she looked up she saw his body tumbling down the slide and come to a rest at the bottom. She said he was laying "face down" and that it was obvious that his neck was broken, so I assume that he was not decapitated in the sense that every is assuming. [emoji25]

    I also saw a post on FB from someone who was friends with the 911 operator who took the call and she posted that his face, between his forehead and nose, struck the metal piece holding up the netting. Going 65mph, that would likely do quite a bit of damage.

    The assumption is that he was lifted out of the front position, got clotheslined by the netting/metal pole, collided with the 2 female passengers and then tumbled down the slide. The 2 females were still in the boat when it ended.

    I have friends who have ridden this ride and I guess the lightest person always sits in the front. It's been said that because of physics you really don't even need a restraint because gravity takes ahold, but Velcro was added for safety measures. Velcro was used in the event the boat flipped over to prevent drowning. But of course this depends on everything weighing just right. My guess is that it didn't.
     
  9. K_Z

    K_Z Verified Anesthetist

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    Very unlikely. I'll explain, but it's a rather "clinical" explanation, and for that I'll apologize in advance.

    Anesthesia professionals are experts at estimating blood loss in the OR, and especially blood loss that is diluted with irrigation fluid, amniotic fluid, etc, so bear with me. A waterslide is not the OR, granted-- but there are similarities when visually estimating blood loss, and calculating total blood volume based on age and weight.

    Caleb was 10 years old, approximately 60 to 70 lbs, so had an estimated total blood volume of about 2 to 2 1/2 liters. IMO, from the amount of blood in the water visible in the pool in the aerial shots, plus the blood smears on the slide on the lower hill, pretty much his entire blood volume was in the water.

    An "internal decapitation" is a hangman's fracture, C 1-2. Bloodless, and with the skin of the neck intact.

    From what witnesses described, and from pictures of the slide and pool at the end, there was a great deal of blood lost, and lay people have described a "decapitation". They would not be describing this using these words if the "decapitation" was internal, and not visible. When a lay person uses that term, decapitation, they only mean one thing-- catastrophic separation, or nearly complete, separation of the head. (Apologies for being graphic.)

    Again, apologies for sounding "clinical." In no way do I want to minimize the abject horror of what this poor child experienced, what the lifeguards, the witnesses, his family, the first responders all saw--and even the technicians who have to process the accident scene, and the maintenance workers who had to clean up the blood. And the medical examiner and workers at the morgue, also, though it's their job to process and document often horrific deaths. They will all be very deeply affected emotionally from what they saw. I have no doubt that some will have PTSD and nightmares. It's truly horrific. His poor family-- I have no idea how they will live with what happened to their dear sweet boy Caleb. I hope they can all find some kind of peace and comfort.
     
  10. K_Z

    K_Z Verified Anesthetist

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    Snipped for focus. A midface transection would be similarly catastrophic. I hadn't considered a midface transection, since the official response about his injuries was "neck injury", and witnesses described "decapitation.". The forces in play in a traumatic high speed midface transection could also cause stretch injuries of the neck and great vessels, IMO. There can be more than one mechanism of injury.
     
  11. Ray_of_hope

    Ray_of_hope Verified registered nurse

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    So the harness was either too big or let go. A woman stated in several reports that she had ridden the ride and the velcro harness in the front was not working properly. I wonder if she reported that to an employee. Also are there several rafts or just one raft that is used over and over?
    I'm so saddened by this tragic loss and for the family of little Caleb.
     
  12. kaen

    kaen Trying to be a good human.

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    K_Z,

    Thank you for the explanation. I am always amazed at the differing skill sets present in this forum--- although I am not sure exactly what a mid face transection and other terms mean.
     
  13. AmyPond

    AmyPond Well-Known Member

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    I think if the ride was attached and there were harnesses it wouldn't be classified as a water slide and then the creators couldn't pat themselves on the back for a world record. It disgusts me, honestly.
     
  14. gregjrichards

    gregjrichards Well-Known Member

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    Not forgetting velcro isn't great at sticking when wet what were they thinking? Cost saving I'd guess.

    "A Kansas lawmaker is calling for closer regulation of water park rides after boy, 10, was 'decapitated' when thrown from a waterslide's raft.

    Caleb Schwab, son of Kansas State Rep. Scott Schwab, died on Sunday while riding the 168-foot-high Verrückt slide at Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City.

    Since the youngster's tragic death, multiple people have come forward to share their terrifying close calls on the ride after they the waterslide's safety straps malfunctioned.

    Now Kansas Senator David Haley is demanding better regulation of amusement parks in the state to keep the public safe."

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...-complaints-surface-ride-s-safety-straps.html
     
  15. MzOpinion8d

    MzOpinion8d Former Member

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    I tend to be harsh on parents sometimes, (I even look back at incidents with my own kid and mentally kick myself), but in this case I don't think it's warranted.

    The parents were led to believe the ride was safe based on the safety guidelines implemented and the fact that hundreds of people have ridden it daily for several months with no problems.

    I'm guessing it will be discovered that several complaints were in fact lodged with Schlitterbahn that were ignored, or brushed off with "thank you for informing us of your concerns, safety of our guests is our top priority, and we make every effort to insure our rides are safe, including daily inspections" blah blah blah.

    I personally would not have chosen to ride it, nor would I have been able to let my kids ride it, because it has scared me from the start. (I live in the area and we saw it being built.) But this is largely because of my own deep fear of heights, on top of the failed tests at the beginning.

    I think Caleb's parents thought it would be ok. It SHOULD have been ok.
     
  16. MzOpinion8d

    MzOpinion8d Former Member

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    No info on that so far, Marah.
     
  17. MzOpinion8d

    MzOpinion8d Former Member

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    Thanks for this, KZ. I'm finding myself really annoyed that they've said he died from a neck injury. It really feels like they're trying to minimize what happened.

    Perhaps they're using gentle phrasing to be respectful to the family, but it feels more like they're using gentle phrasing to protect Schlitterbahn.

    In my opinion, had he NOT been decapitated, LE would have announced that immediately to stop all the social media rumors. Since they didn't, and there's been many different reports saying similar things, I think he was decapitated. That one video shows two blankets covering something at the bottom of the slide, and they are a few feet apart from each other, both with blood on the blankets.
     
  18. Blue Skies

    Blue Skies Member

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    I keep seeing people say this, but I can't see how the fact that he was a State Rep's son could have anything to do with him being allowed on the ride. How would they know? Would you recognize your State Rep's children? I know I wouldn't. I doubt the kid went up and stated who his father was and I doubt that would influence the decision of the young people who usually work these rides whether they believed him or not. I also seriously doubt his father made a special call or visit to tell them to disregard the rules and allow his son on a ride that could potentially be dangerous.


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  19. Blue Skies

    Blue Skies Member

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    I seriously can't imagine the State not enforcing the inspection just to get a free day at the park. It's not THAT expensive. They might be crooks, and they might be getting other "benefits" by allowing them to avoid inspection, but not just a free day
    at the park. No telling...


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  20. Blue Skies

    Blue Skies Member

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    What makes this so mind boggling is that most of us don't need an expert to tell us this! How did this ride pass initial inspection??? Who were the incompetent engineers involved in the design???


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