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Accidental death at Schlitterbahn in Kansas City.


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2014 was a very weird year for Kansas City parks. First you had Steelhawk, a malfunctioning swing ride that gets stuck almost every day now (even got stuck today), and Verruckt, a prototype slide that has now killed a rider. Both of these attractions were heavily delayed (both opened in July), and now both are having terrible malfunctions (of course Verruckt being the worse of the two). I feel like it might be in the best interest to remove both of these attractions and start fresh with a new attraction for both parks that takes everyone's mind off the parks' past mistakes.

 

Having said that, I really don't know if Schlitterbahn can survive an accident like this. To be honest, the park flat out sucks. Verruckt was really the only attraction at the park that I couldn't take a nap on. And especially having this be a fairly new park, with a death taking place on their newest attraction...ugh...

 

As hard as it must be for the park, it must be equally hard for the families. Most Kansas City schools start tomorrow, so having this happen on what might have been their last family outing...devastating. Prayers go out to the family and anyone involved or at the park.

 

I've never been to Schitterbahn KCK just because of how lackluster the park is. But I don't think I'll ever spend my money at this park in light of recent events. Call me crazy, but that's just how I feel.

 

Talk about blowing things out of proportion.

 

1. SteelHawk does not get "stuck" every day.

2. SteelHawk did not get "stuck" on Sunday.

3. You say you've never been to Schlitterbahn - how can you comment on its "luster"?

4. Perhaps you shouldn't comment on things you really don't know about?

1. I never said it gets stuck every day, I said it gets stuck ALMOST every day, which is true. During July, it got stuck on every visit I made to the park and even twice in one day.

2. Yes it did, around 4 or so. I was at the park Sunday.

3. You have a point, but when every review I hear back from the place says it's a waste of time and money, why would I waste my time and money going out there? Look, if you like it, that's fine.

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Does anyone know how long it will take until an official report comes out?

The report will be released at the conclusion of the investigation. The investigation will take as long as it needs to find the cause of this problems and identify and negligence or wrong doing. There aren't really deadlines for these things. The information released will be necessary, but limited.

 

Maybe the raft was too light or the water pressure was too high, so when they went up the hill, the raft flew up and tilted backward, and hit the netting,

 

Maybe this particular raft was grown from magical beans which made it defy the laws of physics, but we don't really know that now do we? What good does this kind of speculation do? It's inevitable before everyone jumps on something similar to the "I didn't hear her restraint click" bandwagon started from some random idiot's own speculation.

 

Short of a zoom lens and lightning reflexes, they're all watching from a distance.

 

Except, of course, for the other people in the raft.

Oh god. Never even thought about the other members in the raft. That must be traumatizing to watch someone lose their head in front of you.

 

If one of the victims had a broken jaw and the other one had a broken facial bone, I doubt they really had any idea what was happening when the crap hit the fan. Let alone the disorientation from the excitement of the ride and water splashing in your face. It was probably all incredibly disorienting, as opposed to a front row seat to the movie final destination. Asking a witness to recall specific events that happened right in front of them while they were completely alert and sober enough is hard enough. Seriously.

 

 

On another note, why do all of my family members text me about this crap like I NEED to know about it or like I haven't already heard???? It's almost as annoying as people who send me stupid memes of Top Thrill Dragster and ask me if I've ever heard of it...

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3. You have a point, but when every review I hear back from the place says it's a waste of time and money, why would I waste my time and money going out there? Look, if you like it, that's fine.

 

 

Schlitterbahn's about innovative ideas far beyond mere waterslides. I'd drive six hours each way even before King Kaw or Mighty Mo. Eventually, we started skipping free WoF visits to pay for an extra day at Schlitterbahn. There was nothing to discuss. We just kinda looked at each other and knew what we preferred to do.

 

I'll admit to pointing and laughing at people lined up to ride slides at Schlitterbahn KCK--but that's because I'm a bit of a jerk.

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2014 was a very weird year for Kansas City parks. First you had Steelhawk, a malfunctioning swing ride that gets stuck almost every day now (even got stuck today), and Verruckt, a prototype slide that has now killed a rider. Both of these attractions were heavily delayed (both opened in July), and now both are having terrible malfunctions (of course Verruckt being the worse of the two). I feel like it might be in the best interest to remove both of these attractions and start fresh with a new attraction for both parks that takes everyone's mind off the parks' past mistakes.

 

How did I miss this?

 

What the hell does a swing ride occasionally stopping for a few minutes and providing guests with a nice view / breeze in the process have to do with someone getting decapitated on a water slide? The two things aren't at all comparable and have nothing to do with each-other.

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Speaking of the other people in the raft, it seems their injuries have been overshadowed by the death of the young boy. This article gives a bit more detail on them.

 

"Caleb was reportedly riding the slide with two adult women, with whom he was matched on the raft. The women are from north of Hays, Kan. One suffered a broken jaw, and the other a broken bone in her face and had to have stitches in her eye. The husband of one of the women says they are also suffering emotionally. He says the women do not know exactly what happened because it happened so fast. One of them had her eyes closed."

 

All three guests were hurt. That leads me to believe that this accident was caused by something more than just the small size of the boy. However, it seems like the survivors are not going to be great witnesses, so the investigation may not be able to reveal exactly what happenend.

 

the injuries of the two women he got matched up with to ride really makes me think the boy could of been decapitated now. I think the only good news I can draw from this report is hopefully the kid died on impact or at least was knocked unconscious until death so hopefully he went as painlessly as possible.

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I was reading about the accident this morning and came across this quote (Buzzfeed quoting USA Today) "“It’s dangerous, but it’s a safe dangerous now,” Schlitterbahn Waterparks & Resorts co-owner Jeff Henry told USA Today in 2014." The lawyer in me says that if it were my case I would be heading to Office Depot and getting that printed out on some poster board for a jury to see. Considering the previous delays there are some bad days ahead for the park when it comes to liability in this situation. The best possible outcome (from a liability standpoint) is if the cause of this incident is in no way related to the video of the rafts flying off the ride.

 

Before it comes up, I know that statements by Mr. Henry in 2014 were largely said for the sake of marketing, but at the same time I can tell you that in a courtroom statements like that are going to be used with the most literal meaning possible attached, regardless of how out of context it is in reality.

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^Have you watched the TV show that crashing boat scene was selectively culled from? That hill was scrapped and rebuilt entirely. The present hill looks nothing like it. Of course, they explain that in the narrative...

 

For those who are not familiar with the changes here's a nice before and after photo for you.

 

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^Depending on the cause of the accident (we still don't know if it was a restraint issue or if the whole raft was the problem) the testing errors could hurt the park. Already the major network news stations are connecting the dots and showing videos of the testing of the ride before the re-profile to add some shock value to their stories.

 

Driving past on my way to work this morning there was still blood on the slide that you could see from the highway. I'm thankful that the news vans are choosing not to show that view on TV.

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Before it comes up, I know that statements by Mr. Henry in 2014 were largely said for the sake of marketing, but at the same time I can tell you that in a courtroom statements like that are going to be used with the most literal meaning possible attached, regardless of how out of context it is in reality.

 

First, let me preface this by saying that I'm not trying to be a smarta$$ when I ask: Does anything seem wrong with that statement?

 

Already the major network news stations are connecting the dots and showing videos of the testing of the ride before the re-profile to add some shock value to their stories.

 

That's just typical media hype before any facts are revealed. We still have no idea if the rafts flew off of the track or if something else happened. I would imagine if Schlitterbahn could go back in time they would have chosen to market the slide with a different twist. "Scary" is what they were selling, but it backfired on them in the end. The media having complete availability of these images is like feeding candy to a baby. Whichever ratings craving network shows the most boats flying off of the slide gets the most views. I'm incredibly surprised that there isn't a constant live feed of the coagulating blood on the slide.

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There are a lot of things that don't appear to bode well for the park....

 

1. The fact it's a smaller family owned company

2. The fact it was designed in-house (no manufacturer/engineer to name as co-defendants)

3. The marketing statements (wasn't there also video of it ejected rafts?)

4. The whole son of a state representative thing

 

That being said, the investigation is not complete so there is no way of knowing who was at fault. I hope with insurance the family will be taken care of and the park can move on, as I am sure it is devastating for the owners and the staff who had to see/respond to that too.

 

Just the fact the ride was not intended for kids under 14 means that at some point the parents or whomever their guardian was at the time was complicit in ignoring that restriction, whether it was willful (read the sign and didn't care) or unintentional (left two kids unattended in the park on their own for the day).

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2014 was a very weird year for Kansas City parks. First you had Steelhawk, a malfunctioning swing ride that gets stuck almost every day now (even got stuck today), and Verruckt, a prototype slide that has now killed a rider. Both of these attractions were heavily delayed (both opened in July), and now both are having terrible malfunctions (of course Verruckt being the worse of the two). I feel like it might be in the best interest to remove both of these attractions and start fresh with a new attraction for both parks that takes everyone's mind off the parks' past mistakes.

 

How did I miss this?

 

What the hell does a swing ride occasionally stopping for a few minutes and providing guests with a nice view / breeze in the process have to do with someone getting decapitated on a water slide? The two things aren't at all comparable and have nothing to do with each-other.

 

Lightning rod has had several issues this year as well. It should also be closed before it decapitates a young boy.

 

 

the injuries of the two women he got matched up with to ride really makes me think the boy could of been decapitated now.

 

I don't get this. Does it really make it any worse if he was decapitated or not? The kid is dead as a result of impact trauma, period. I'm sure there is a decent chance that at least some pieces of his head were missing. I feel like that's what what it's going to take to in order to fill the drama quota to everyone's satisfaction.

 

 

Just the fact the ride was not intended for kids under 14 means that at some point the parents or whomever their guardian was at the time was complicit in ignoring that restriction, whether it was willful (read the sign and didn't care) or unintentional (left two kids unattended in the park on their own for the day).

 

Someone has already stated that the age restriction has not been in place for some time, but I know people are always eager to point a finger.

Edited by prozach626
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There are a lot of things that don't appear to bode well for the park....

 

1. The fact it's a smaller family owned company

2. The fact it was designed in-house (no manufacturer/engineer to name as co-defendants)

3. The marketing statements (wasn't there also video of it ejected rafts?)

4. The whole son of a state representative thing

 

That being said, the investigation is not complete so there is no way of knowing who was at fault. I hope with insurance the family will be taken care of and the park can move on, as I am sure it is devastating for the owners and the staff who had to see/respond to that too.

 

Just the fact the ride was not intended for kids under 14 means that at some point the parents or whomever their guardian was at the time was complicit in ignoring that restriction, whether it was willful (read the sign and didn't care) or unintentional (left two kids unattended in the park on their own for the day).

From what I believe, the age restriction was lifted, allowing all ages to ride as long as the hit the height requirement. I think I saw somebody quote it from the website in the first few pages of this thread.

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There are a lot of things that don't appear to bode well for the park....

 

1. The fact it's a smaller family owned company

2. The fact it was designed in-house (no manufacturer/engineer to name as co-defendants)

3. The marketing statements (wasn't there also video of it ejected rafts?)

4. The whole son of a state representative thing

 

That being said, the investigation is not complete so there is no way of knowing who was at fault. I hope with insurance the family will be taken care of and the park can move on, as I am sure it is devastating for the owners and the staff who had to see/respond to that too.

 

Just the fact the ride was not intended for kids under 14 means that at some point the parents or whomever their guardian was at the time was complicit in ignoring that restriction, whether it was willful (read the sign and didn't care) or unintentional (left two kids unattended in the park on their own for the day).

 

There is no age requirement to ride Verruckt. It's not on their web site anywhere, and others have said it was planned initially but dropped. The only requirements I have seen are to be at least 54" tall, and the raft with 2-3 passengers must weight 400-550.

 

http://www.schlitterbahn.com/kansas-city/rides/all-new-verruckt

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Just the fact the ride was not intended for kids under 14 means that at some point the parents or whomever their guardian was at the time was complicit in ignoring that restriction, whether it was willful (read the sign and didn't care) or unintentional (left two kids unattended in the park on their own for the day).

 

The age restriction was removed a while back. It was height and combined weight only.

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2. The fact it was designed in-house (no manufacturer/engineer to name as co-defendants)

There would have been MULTIPLE stamps of approval from engineers. From the foundations to the supports to the netting, everything gets designed, reviewed, and signed by an engineer. If they don't have in-house engineers, then they have consultants who take on the same amount of responsibility.

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Before it comes up, I know that statements by Mr. Henry in 2014 were largely said for the sake of marketing, but at the same time I can tell you that in a courtroom statements like that are going to be used with the most literal meaning possible attached, regardless of how out of context it is in reality.

 

First, let me preface this by saying that I'm not trying to be a smarta$$ when I ask: Does anything seem wrong with that statement?

 

 

Yes, there is a lot wrong with that statement. It's the unfortunate reality though of how the system works. Of course, there will be lawyers on the other side trying to put things back into the correct context, I'm just not sure that's a battle I would want to wage.

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According to David Muir on "World News Tonight" the waterslide is

 

"the tallest in the world, taller than the Empire State Building"

 

yes, he really said that.

 

and they talked to a "witness" who said the young boy fell out, and that his relative who rode it earlier that day complained that the velcro seatbelt came loose.

 

(which doesn't seem to tie with the reports that the two women with the child were hurt -- if he fell out, then how did they get hurt?)

 

smells like someone who just wanted to be on TV. . why aren't they vetting these things?? it's horrific that a child died, but report the facts.

 

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(which doesn't seem to tie with the reports that the two women with the child were hurt -- if he fell out, then how did they get hurt?)

I hate to speculate about such things, but if the child was ejected from his seat, he could've easily become a projectile and his body could've struck the other two women.

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A few things:

 

1. I don't understand why people are still worrying about the age requirement. It was pointless in the first place and it's still pointless. Someone's age is entirely irrelevant for something like this. You could be 30 years old but if you're 4 feet tall and weigh 50 pounds you're not big enough. You could be 10 years old but if you're somehow already 6 feet tall and weigh 200 pounds you're fine. People come in all shapes and sizes at different ages, it's irrelevant.

 

2. I just can't understand the thought process behind the netting. If there is a real possibility of a raft being launched out of the slide without interference from some crazy external factor, it's not safe and it's as simple as that. The only purpose the netting seems to serve is to keep a raft from launching out of the slide at the expense of riders' safety, which is exactly what wound up happening. Its mere existence seems to me to be less of a safety mechanism and more of an admittance of a lack of safety.

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2. The fact it was designed in-house (no manufacturer/engineer to name as co-defendants)

There would have been MULTIPLE stamps of approval from engineers. From the foundations to the supports to the netting, everything gets designed, reviewed, and signed by an engineer. If they don't have in-house engineers, then they have consultants who take on the same amount of responsibility.

 

I suspect that Schlitterbahn was more involved, considering they used to own NBGS and built everything in house before shutting that company down. Ultimately all parties involved will still be named, but it will be interesting to see how this impacts the company.

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According to David Muir on "World News Tonight" the waterslide is

 

"the tallest in the world, taller than the Empire State Building"

 

yes, he really said that.

 

and they talked to a "witness" who said the young boy fell out, and that his relative who rode it earlier that day complained that the velcro seatbelt came loose.

 

(which doesn't seem to tie with the reports that the two women with the child were hurt -- if he fell out, then how did they get hurt?)

 

smells like someone who just wanted to be on TV. . why aren't they vetting these things?? it's horrific that a child died, but report the facts.

 

This is why I don't take contemporary media seriously. If you can't even check the Empire State Building fact, which is the easiest fact to verify, then you have absolutely no business reporting any further. I love how there is almost zero accountability within the media, despite their actions having consequences which have amounted to helping city blocks burn within the past few years. Meanwhile, ratings are up from sensationalized media, so all is well.

 

2. I just can't understand the thought process behind the netting. If there is a real possibility of a raft being launched out of the slide without interference from some crazy external factor, it's not safe and it's as simple as that. The only purpose the netting seems to serve is to keep a raft from launching out of the slide at the expense of riders' safety, which is exactly what wound up happening. Its mere existence seems to me to be less of a safety mechanism and more of an admittance of a lack of safety.

Yes, but if it weren't for the netting there would possibly be two more fatalities in this incident rather than injured victims. Sometimes fail safes are put in place as a compromise if something does go wrong, but not necessarily as a complete solution.

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