Dad Recalls Final Words to Son Who Died on Water Slide

Caleb Schwab's parents talk to 'Good Morning America'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 13, 2017 1:58 PM CST
Updated Feb 14, 2017 1:33 AM CST
Parents Recall Final Moments of Son Killed on Water Slide
AUG. 8, 2016 - This June 2016 photo provided by David Strickland shows Caleb Schwab posing with his father Scott Schwab, a Kansas state lawmaker from Olathe. Caleb died Aug. 7, 2016, while riding the Verruckt, a waterslide that's billed as the world's largest, at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas...   (David Strickland via AP, File)

The parents of a 10-year-old boy who died while riding on the world's tallest water slide at a water park in Kansas said they are still grieving but are thankful for the condolences they have received from around the world, the AP reports. In an interview Monday on Good Morning America, Kansas state Rep. Scott Schwab and his wife, Michele, recalled the "surreal" events of Aug. 7, 2016, when their son, Caleb, died aboard the "Verruckt" waterslide at the Schlitterbahn Water Park in Kansas City, Kansas. "Six went to the park, five came back," Scott Schwab said. The Schwabs, of Olathe, took their four sons to the waterpark that day because it was offering free admission for state lawmakers. When they arrived, Caleb and his 12-year-old brother, Nathan, went right to the "Verruckt," which featured a 17-story plunge.

Scott Schwab recalled the last conversation he had with his son. "Before they took off, I said, 'Brothers stick together,' and he said, 'I know, Dad.' I said, 'Look at me, brothers stick together.' 'I know, Dad.'" Nathan was waiting at the bottom when Caleb was somehow decapitated by the ride. Investigators have not publicly indicated how the boy was injured. "(Nathan) was screaming, 'He flew from Verruckt. He flew from Verruckt,'" Michele said, adding her son was so distraught he couldn't explain what he had seen. Michele said a man wouldn't allow her to get close enough to see what was going on. "He just kept saying, 'Trust me, you don't want to go any further,'" she said. No criminal charges have been filed in Caleb's death, but the family has reached settlements with several organizations. Schlitterbahn officials have said the ride will be dismantled as soon as the investigation is complete. (More Kansas water slide stories.)

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