Society

Teens Speak Out After Witnessing Death On Water Slide (Photos)

| by Brendan Kelly
Jess Sanford and Melanie GockeJess Sanford and Melanie Gocke

Two Nebraska teens have spoken out after reportedly witnessing a 10-year-old boy's death on the world's tallest water slide.

Jess Sanford and Melanie Gocke took a trip from their hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska, to Kansas City to visit the Schlitterbahn Water Park on August 7. There, they witnessed the horrific and tragic death of 10-year-old Caleb Schwab.

Schlitterbahn is the home of the world's tallest water slide, the Verrückt. Just hours after riding the slide themselves, the teens saw a trail of blood come down the slide as Caleb was thrown from his raft and decapitated by the safety netting. 

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The teens spoke to CNN about the incident, which they say will traumatize them forever.

"When I heard a noise that didn't sound like it was supposed to come from that kind of ride, that's when I turned around," Sanford said. "I didn't understand what was going on so I only saw Caleb sliding down the last half of the slide, and then I saw the blood."

When Caleb's body made it to the bottom of the slide, his family and friends immediately started calling for help. Medics arrived soon after, but it was too late. The teens say medics did not try to revive the boy because "they realized he was dead."

The teens criticized the park for failing to properly secure riders.

"You'd think for something that's supposed to be known for being the tallest slide in the world they'd have a little bit more secure straps than Velcro," Sanford said. 

The water park has shut down the slide while an investigation is underway.

In 2014, the slide's opening was delayed due to safety concerns, Daily Mail reports. In the video below, rafts can be seen being launched off the ride during test runs. The park subsequently added safety netting to the slide to secure the rafts.

Following the horrific incident, Kansas Senator David Haley has called for more regulations of amusement parks in the state, which has some of the weakest safety regulations in the nation.

Caleb Schwab was the son of Kansas state Rep. Scott Schwab.

Sources: Daily MailCNN / Photo Credit: CNN via Daily Mail

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