Source: Kansas Boy Was Decapitated on Waterslide
Other riders say their raft flew into the air
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2016 3:00 AM CDT
Updated Aug 11, 2016 5:43 AM CDT
This June 2016 photo provided by David Strickland shows Caleb Thomas Schwab.   (David Strickland via AP)
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(Newser) – The death of 10-year-old Caleb Schwab on the world's tallest waterslide was even more horrific than early reports indicated, a source tells the AP. The source says the boy, son of Kansas lawmaker Scott Schwab, was decapitated in the accident, which is being investigated but hasn't been explained by authorities yet. Police initially said Caleb died from a "fatal neck injury." Riders on the 168-foot "Verruckt" slide at the Schlitterbang park in Kansas City, Kansas, are strapped onto rafts. After the tragic death, park visitors came forward to say that they had experienced problems on the slide ranging from restraints coming loose to rafts actually flying into the air, the Kansas City Star reports.

Dawn Gentry says she was on the slide with her daughter on July 27 when the raft flew off the tracks on the ride's second drop. "The lifeguards were freaking out," she tells the Star, adding that she got the impression it had happened before. Sara Craig, a visitor who returned when the park reopened Wednesday, tells the AP that she went down the ride twice a few weeks ago with her son and one of his friends. She says it was "very, very rough" and her Velcro shoulder restraint came off during her first trip. Craig also says operators allowed her group to go down the slide with a combined weight of 393 pounds, below the 400 minimum.