Published: Wed, April 04, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Designer of Verruckt water slide arrested

Designer of Verruckt water slide arrested

Schooley played a major role in the creation of Verrückt, a 168-foot-high waterslide that decapitated Caleb Schwab on August 7, 2016, at Schlitterbahn Waterpark, authorities alleged.

He and Jeff Henry, co-owner of the Kansas City park, were also found to have rushed along construction of the 17-story death trap, which has sat idle since Caleb's death.

A Schlitterbahn spokeswoman disputed the allegations against the officials after Henry was arrested last week.

Caleb, the son of Kansas Republican state Rep. Scott Schwab, was decapitated after the raft on which he was riding went airborne on a day when admission was free for state legislators and their families.

The designer of Schlitterbahn's "Verruckt" water slide was taken into custody at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Monday night. "In fact, the design and operation of the Verruckt complied with few, if any, of the industry safety standards".

After the Guinness Book of World Records certified Verrückt as the world's tallest water slide, Henry tore down half of it to make corrections, delaying the planned opening and costing an additional $1 million, USA TODAY reported in 2016. The indictment alleges he had no technical or engineering expertise when he designed the Verruckt waterslide.

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Schlitterbahn co-owner Jeffrey Henry and Tyler Miles, the former director of operations at the Kansas City water park, were also indicted.

The waterslide opened in 2014, and has been closed since Schwab died. Henry's desire to "rush the project" caused the company to "skip fundamental steps in the design process".

Three men connected with the Texas-based waterpark and its park in Kansas City, Kan., have been indicted by a Kansas grand jury. The construction company involved in designing and building the slide and the Schlitterbahn park also face charges, according to indictments unsealed in March. The two women suffered face injuries and lacerations, according to investigators.

The family reached settlements of almost $20 million with Schlitterbahn and various companies associated with the design and construction of the waterslide. "These experts noted that Verruckt's design violated almost all aspects" of longstanding industry safety standards.

In a statement to CNN last week, the Schlitterbahn Waterpark called Schwab's death "tragic", but maintained that the defendants would be proven innocent when the case goes to trial.

The indictment said Schooley admitted, "If we actually knew how to do this, and it could be done that easily, it wouldn't be that spectacular".

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