NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Sunday, August 7, 2016, 6:48 PM
The world’s tallest water slide turned deadly on Sunday, after a Kansas state representative’s son was killed on the Kansas City, Kan. attraction.
Nathan Schwab, the son of Rep. Scott Schwab, died while riding the Verrückt, a 17-story water slide, boasted as being taller than Niagara Falls. The drop is about 168 feet, 7 inches, reaching top speeds of 60-70 miles per hour on the raft.
“We are saddened to share that a young boy died on Verrückt this afternoon,” Winter Prosapio, a spokeswoman with Schlitterbahn Water Park said in a statement to the Daily News. “Given that safety is our first priority, we have closed our Kansas City park and we have closed the ride pending a full investigation. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time.”
Schlitterbahn Waterpark officials said the boy was killed while on the Verrückt, the world’s tallest water slide.
All rides, including the massive water slide, are inspected every day, Prosapio said at a press conference.
Officers are still investigating the scene, calling it an “apparent accident death,” Kansas City, Kan. police chief Terry Zeigler said.
The park remains closed as officers determine the 12-year-old boy’s cause of death from the fatal accident.
The boy was first identified by the Kansas City Star.
A view from the top of Verrückt, before the 17-story plunge.
His family’s home was filled with people mourning over the boy’s tragic death, according to the newspaper.
Rep. Schwab did not respond to the Daily News’s request for comments. He was first elected to Kansas’s house in 2003, representing District 49, covering Olathe.
Police said a 12-year-old boy died in an accidental death on Verrückt in Kansas City, Kan.
The ride, which translates to “insane” in German, debuted in July 2014, after months of delay to deal with mechanical and construction issues, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Amusement parks report more than 1,000 injuries every year, with major cases often ending in confidential settlements, leaving the public clueless when it comes to how safe they really are on rides.
The park’s co-owner Jeff Henry, who created the massive water slide with designer John Schooley, said Verrückt was “dangerous, but it’s a safe dangerous” when it first opened, USA Today reported.
“I’m still recovering mentally. It’s like jumping off the Empire State Building,” Henry said after his first plunge.