The family of a Kansas boy who was decapitated on a waterslide spoke out for the first time since the tragic day.
Republican Rep. Scott Schwab of Kansas took his family to Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City for a day of fun on a fee entry date for state lawmakers. When they arrived at the park, Schwab said his son, Caleb, went with his 12-year-old bother, Nathan, to board the famous Verruckt slide.
“Brothers stick together,” he told his son.
“He said, ‘I know, Dad,'” Schwab told ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
“I said, ‘Look at me. Brothers stick together.'”
After the boys went on the slide, Nathan ran toward his parents screaming.
“He was screaming, ‘He flew from the Verruckt, he flew from the Verruckt,'” Michelle Schwab said.
Authorities said that 10-year-old Caleb was decapitated on the ride.
“There was a gentleman who wouldn’t allow me to come close enough to see what was going on, and he just kept saying, ‘Trust me, you don’t want to go any further,'” the mother said. “I kind of knew in my mind that I shouldn’t see it, that I probably don’t want to see it.”
Scott said he was in shock, and asked a bystander to confirm his son’s death.
“I said, ‘I just need to hear you say — is my son dead?’ and he just shook his head,” Scott Schwab said. “I need to hear it from you … is my son dead? And he said, ‘Yes, your son’s dead.'”
For the two parents and their three surviving children, the months that followed the unimaginable accident were challenging and overwhelming.
“All claims against the local amusement park as well as the raft manufacturer have been resolved,” attorneys for the family said in a statement. “The family continues to pursue claims against a Texas-based company, Henry & Sons, which constructed Verruckt, as well as claims against a consultant who evaluated the slide before being opened to the public.”
Many readers commented on the tragedy, with some saying that the parents should have been partly to blame for letting their son ride the slide.
“I don’t think I would have let my kid on a ride that wasn’t being inspected properly. I have to agree with other people. The parents too are partly to blame for that. My heart goes out to the brother who had to witness such a traumatic accident,” one Daily Mail reader commented.