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Designer of Kansas Waterslide That Decapitated Young Boy Is Arrested

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Designer of Kansas Waterslide That Decapitated Young Boy Is Arrested

The man who designed a waterslide that ended up decapitating a 10-year-old boy in Kansas was arrested at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport yesterday. He’s been charged with second-degree murder over the death of Caleb Schwab. He has also been charged with aggravated endangerment of a child and aggravated battery of a child.

Additionally, two executives, are also facing criminal charges regarding the same matter. The Schlitterbahn Waterpark’s co-owner, Jeffrey Henry, also faces second-degree murder. Tyler Austin Miles, the former director of operations, is facing an involuntary manslaughter charge.

In 2016, Caleb Schwab was decapitated while riding what was famously billed as the “tallest waterslide in the world.” Additionally, four other children and nine adults were injured on the ride before Caleb’s tragic event occurred.

Schlitterbahn Waterpark has called the events “terrible and tragic.”

“We know that Tyler, Jeff, and John are innocent and that we run a safe operation — our 40 years of entertaining millions of people speaks to that. We are confident that their innocence will be proven in court where we know the facts will show this was an accident.”


The Verruckt was given the title of world’s tallest waterslide by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2014. Caleb’s raft got air underneath of it, launching he and two women into the air. While in the air, the raft encountered hoop rings and the protective netting. The women suffered injuries to their faces.

According to allegations, Verruckt’s design “violated nearly all aspects of the longstanding industry safety standards,” according to the indictment. “In fact, the design and operation of the Verruckt complied with few, if any, of the industry safety standards.”

No one will argue that the details of this tragic event aren’t compelling and extraordinarily sad, however, charging the designer is draconian by any modern legal standard. If we start charging architects with criminal charges, we will cause a massive slow down in design innovation. Will building architects be liable for fires?

Author: Jim Satney

PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.


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