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Accidental death at Schlitterbahn in Kansas City.


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Sure, but the comments were implying that those two were specifically instructed to do/not do something.

 

If they acted on their own, the liability falls differently.

 

Big difference in a subordinate not doing as trained/instructed and a supervisor instructing them to do things wrong. Of course how the supervisor handles it when they learn of the error matters too.

 

If Joe on in the maintenance shop makes a mistake that kills someone, the CEO is not likely to be convicted of manslaughter. Joe would be. Possibly his direct supervisor. But not management 4 or 5 levels removed.

 

I never said they were specifically instructed to do anything. "Acting under the direction of" could simply mean following whatever negligent policies and procedures they had established. You're reading way too far into the semantics of what I wrote. More often than not, the person who signs off on everything is going to be the one prosecuted. Unless it's a blatantly egregious act, where the individual was clearly acting on their own accord.

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More often than not, the person who signs off on everything is going to be the one prosecuted. Unless it's a blatantly egregious act, where the individual was clearly acting on their own accord.

 

Right. The 2 big guys they are going after are not the ones signing off on the work.

 

That's why I don't see how these two make much of a case against the others.

 

It does sound like these two were negligent though. Bit fixing the speed control is closer to the proximate cause than what upper management/designers/builders did.

 

Only thing worse was the miss loading of the raft (improper distribution) and it appears it was done in violation of policy/procedures.

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Simple repair, done after hours.

 

I can maybe see not shutting it down that day, but no reason not to repair overnight/next morning before opening.

 

No. That's not how rides should be run. You DO NOT run rides or attractions without safety components functioning and in place. Period. End of Story. If a raft has velcro straps that are about to fail, it should be removed from service, and the others that have been inspected and found okay can continue to run, sure. But brakes that are required to keep rafts running at a safe speed are not optional. Even for the rest of the afternoon. If you can't make that repair while the park is open, sucks to suck. Get ready to hand out comp tickets or something, but you don't try and limp through the rest of the day like that.

 

Hello all.

 

I have lurked here for years and finally made an account to post. I have been involved in theme park ride safety and maintenance most of my career. Please understand why I do not wish to identify myself or my current and former employers. For over 15 years up I have been the senior person at two major theme parks regarding operations and maintenance.

 

The above quote is something I have dealt with literally hundreds and maybe thousands of times with rides. It’s a delicate balance. Safety should always be the first priority and I can say unequivocally in my career I have never knowingly or purposely allowed an unsafe ride to operate. I would never place a patron or employee in danger. This isn’t to say I haven’t made mistakes but fortunately none directly causing injuries or deaths. I used to say I’d never let a ride operate I wouldn’t ride myself but have had to change my mantra to I’d never let a ride operate I wouldn’t let my kids ride. Some of the newer rides coupled with my age have caused me to not ride them!

 

There is always a clash between the financial, marketing, sales, maintenance, engineering and rank-and-file worker. My brother is a senior level safety engineer with a major airline and has similar thoughts and stories.

 

If you were to ask an executive in any discipline if they would want a ride that was unsafe operating they universally would say no. They would say safety is paramount. However, when it comes to their department and their job there is sadly jockeying and pressure to achieve their goals. They will say all the correct things regarding safety and they truly mean it but often their goals push them to exert pressure contrary to best practices. Many times they don’t realize the conundrum, stress and issues this causes for other departments or employees.

 

Be assured the stress and pressure to operate, have rides operating and open is huge. It’s truly a balancing act and you better be right every time. Close a ride unnecessarily too many times and expect to be out of a job. Let a ride operate and there is an accident it’s all on your butt.

 

Several years ago at a major park there was a new state-of-the-art roller coaster. It was designed to operate five trains with six blocks. It was one of the most expensive rides ever made at the time but the problem was the computerized block and safety system just flat out didn’t work properly. We couldn’t get the ride to operate more than a few cycles without shutting down. We were already behind and the manufacturer was frantically trying to remedy the problem. Soft opening was a disaster. No one was at risk safety wise but most of the time ride stops were the norm.

 

The pressure was on me to have the ride operating for opening day. It was a complicated situation as the top execs expected the ride to operate but of course safety was important but at the end of the day the pressure and message was clear—make sure the ride was operating for the grand opening.

 

Hopefully you can see my position. A position that exists frequently.

 

I came up with a solution. Disable the automated block brake system and operate the coaster with one train. Throughput truly sucked but the ride was open and open safely. All objectives were met. You can’t have a train hit another train if there is only one on the tracks. Good solution I thought. Most importantly a safe solution.

 

After 3-4 days working with the manufacturer we were able to add a second train. One in the station loading and once operating. After about 6 weeks (we tested at night) all 5 trains were safely operating. The system issues had been corrected.

 

Everyone happy. No one at risk. The pressure was huge.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Verrückt slide to finally be torn down after death of Caleb Schwab in August 2016

 

http://www.kmbc.com/article/verruckt-slide-to-finally-be-torn-down-after-death-of-caleb-schwab-in-august-2016/22132690

 

26858840-26858840.jpg

 

KANSAS CITY, Kan. —

Years after a 10-year-old boy was killed while riding the Verrückt water slide at Schlitterbahn Water Park Kansas City, Kan. - the slide will finally be torn down.

 

A judge has granted approval for the deconstruction of that ride.

 

In August 2016, 10-year-old Caleb Schwab was killed while riding Verrückt when the raft he was in went airborne.

 

A spokesperson for Schlitterbahn says deconstruction of the ride will proceed in the coming months.

 

The ride has remained largely intact as part of the investigation into Schwab's death.

 

Multiple people have been charged in connection with the incident.

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"According to the Kansas City Star, an attorney representing an affiliate of park operator Schlitterbahn said Thursday that the 17-story slide called Verruckt would start coming down a week after Labor Day.

 

The process is expected to take about three weeks."

 

www.nydailynews.com/news/national/ny-news-ny-water-ride-caleb-schwab-20180713-story.html

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  • 3 months later...

Look who's in the news again today! As vibrant as ever too...

 

https://www.chron.com/news/crime/article/Water-park-co-owner-faces-new-charges-including-13350896.php

 

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The co-owner of a Kansas water park who is accused in the decapitation death of a 10-year-old boy has been charged with drug possession and hiring someone for sex.

 

The Kansas City Star reports that Schlitterbahn co-owner Jeff Henry surrendered to authorities in Kansas on Monday and was released on $100,000 bond. Henry's defense attorney, Carl Cornwell, hasn't returned a phone call from The Associated Press seeking comment.

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Yikes.

ugh.jpg.262e5ccef758535513812724329b35c4.jpg

The details speak to someone who's circling the drain, and I hope Jeff doesn't further hurt himself or anyone else. Another article says that one of the drugs was meth, so it's not like this was some local marijuana bust during a traffic stop. I don't see how the parks can keep moving forward while attached to such a PR nightmare.

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He knows it's probably only a matter of time before he goes to prison, so I can see why he would want to get high and bang hookers...

 

Another article says that one of the drugs was meth

That was my guess based on the picture and I have a lot of experience with these types.

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You might say, "Dirk, this story is bad enough. How could it possibly get any more nuts?"

 

https://www.kshb.com/news/local-news/schlitterbahns-co-owner-henrys-bond-revoked-after-latest-arrest

 

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Schlitterbahn co-owner Jeff Henry’s bond has been revoked in Wyandotte County, Kansas.

 

Henry — who is charged with second-degree murder in connection with the death of a 10-year-old at the Kansas City, Kansas, water park in 2016 — had been free on a $500,000 bond.

 

But a judge revoked that bond Wednesday, after Henry was charged with several drug-related crimes and hiring a prostitute in Johnson County, Kansas.

 

Prosecutors for the state of Kansas requested a $2 million bond.

 

READ: [WARNING: Graphic language] Prosecutor’s motion to revoke bond

 

Instead, Henry will remain jailed for now on a $1 million bond.

 

But a Wyandotte County judge did accept a host of new bond conditions, which were recommended by the state and placed strict limitations on Henry’s involvement with various business interests.

 

Among the new conditions, Henry is barred from setting foot on the Schlitterbahn property in KCK.

 

Court documents claim Henry took his longtime girlfriend there after business hours.

 

Details of Henry’s latest arrest for drug possession and hiring a prostitute emerged during the revocation hearing inside a Wyandotte County courtroom Wednesday and in court documents.

 

Henry was charged in Johnson County, Kansas, with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamines, possession of drug paraphernalia, knowingly hiring a person selling sexual relations and illegal possession of prescription drugs.

 

According to court documents, Henry was arrested by Merriam, Kansas, police July 13 at the Drury Inn with 61.3 grams of meth, 18 hypodermic needles, and 16 Xanax.

 

Court records claim Henry agreed to pay a human trafficker $400 for the services of a prostitute.

 

The records say he paid $240 in cash, and made up the difference with 10 all-day passes to Schlitterbahn.

 

In court documents, Kansas Assistant Attorney General Adam Zentner argues, "Henry was willing to grant an alleged human trafficker free access to a water park that attracts families with children, and especially teenaged girls. Jeff Henry's practices made it easier for a potential human trafficker to gain access to the young women attending and working at Schlitterbahn."

 

The documents say Henry told his longtime girlfriend the prostitute was traveling with him as his sex slave.

 

In exchange, she would receive a $50,000 to $100,000 condo as part of the agreement as long as she did whatever Henry wanted.

 

The human trafficking victim told police she injected Henry and his girlfriend's necks with meth at Henry's request.

 

The 41 Action News Investigators asked Henry's Texas-based attorney Ron Barroso if Henry has a drug problem both in April and on Wednesday and received two different answers.

 

"He's got two marijuana convictions, two misdemeanor marijuana convictions, one that happened 12 years ago and another one that happened about 20 years ago, that's it. So no, he does not have a marijuana problem," Barroso said in April.

 

"I don't know, I don't want to talk about that in view of these other charges that have surfaced. If he does, it's related to his depression," Barroso said Wednesday.

 

Henry, who is scheduled to appear in Johnson County court Nov. 7 for another hearing in the drug/prostitution case, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Caleb Schwab.

 

Schwab, the son of Kansas Rep. and current Republican Secretary of State candidate Scott Schwab (R-Olathe), died on Verruckt, which was touted as the world’s tallest waterslide, in August 2016.

 

More information on Verruckt: The tragedy, Schwab's death and subsequent legal actions

 

Schlitterbahn and the Schwab family reached a multi-million settlement in January 2017.

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Court records claim Henry agreed to pay a human trafficker $400 for the services of a prostitute.

 

The records say he paid $240 in cash, and made up the difference with 10 all-day passes to Schlitterbahn.

 

$16 per day to get into the park? What a discount!

 

Kidding aside, there are so many things wrong with this article. Why you would want a human trafficker anywhere near a family park shows incredibly poor judgment.

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Court records claim Henry agreed to pay a human trafficker $400 for the services of a prostitute.

 

The records say he paid $240 in cash, and made up the difference with 10 all-day passes to Schlitterbahn.

 

$16 per day to get into the park? What a discount!

 

Kidding aside, there are so many things wrong with this article. Why you would want a human trafficker anywhere near a family park shows incredibly poor judgment.

 

LOL, he wanted to keep the girl as a sex slave (allegedly)! I don't think human traffickers being in his park is a serious concern.

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This story continues to get crazier with each update... I'd imagine the ownership troubles will result in the parks being sold off... Seems an opportunity for a group like Palace Entertainment or Parques Reunidos (or maybe even Merlin) to step in.

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Just think of how different things would be right now if they had just gone with the world's tallest slide vs. someone having the idea of giving it an airtime hill. Schlitterbahn definitely had the means to do it better and safer. Maybe even for less money.

 

For anyone who doesn't know, 61 grams of meth is a lot. Half and quarter grams of meth are typically what we find on our arrests. Sometimes you get 2-3 grams from small jacks who are weighing it out and selling it. He's really f*cked if he's resorted to selling meth.

 

On a side note, sex trafficking is a complicated issue. There is a great book, Stolen, that offers a lot of insight. It's a good read. The pornography industry is comprised almost completely of victims of childhood sexual abuse, sex trafficking, and drug users. Strip clubs are more of the same.

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This is all just so awful. The death, the drugs, the neglect, sex traffickers...ugggghhh.

 

^ I don't think that I would be able to do what you do, Zach - full props for protecting the streets out there for us!

 

I have seen people on the news and on video feeds on meth and it is horrifying to watch - I can't imagine someone taking something so bad into their bodies. I admit that I drink, but hopefully it won't ever turn me into a walking freak show like someone on meth.

 

It's terrifying to think that any one of our neighbors could be selling it (or even worse, making it) - it is soooo scary at how "popular" it has become too. I can read our local rag online and can always expect at least one meth bust per day - and we are a small town of like 40,000 people.

 

Scary times, people.

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can always expect at least one meth bust per day - and we are a small town of like 40,000 people.

 

Scary times, people.

 

40k?

 

We get them often in a town of 1200.

And the town of 10k nearby several each week.

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