Caleb Schwab, 10, died of neck injury at Schlitterbahn, KCK police say

Kansas City, Kan., police on Monday night said Caleb Schwab died from a fatal neck injury while riding the 168-foot-tall Verrückt water slide at Schlitterbahn water park on Sunday.

Caleb, 10, was with two women who were not related to him in a boat on the Verrückt. About 2:30 p.m., an off-duty police officer who was working at the park called dispatch that an incident occurred and he needed help. Kansas City, Kan., police and fire departments went to the park and found Caleb dead from a fatal neck injury in the pool at the end of the ride.

The two women in the boat sustained minor facial injuries and treated at local hospitals.

The incident remains under investigation by the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department’s Major Case Unit. Police ask anyone with information to call 913-573-6030.

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Kansas City, Kan. police are investigating the Caleb’s death as a criminal matter.

“It is a death investigation,” said Officer Cameron Morgan, police department spokesman. “Every death is technically a criminal matter until we clear it or categorized it as an accident. We are still investigating it and trying to figure it out what happened.”

The cause of death has not been released. An autopsy was performed earlier Monday and its findings have not been made public.

Schlitterbahn officials on Monday announced the water park would reopen on Wednesday.

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Although the park will be reopening, the Verrückt will remain closed, officials said.

“Safety is our top priority at Schlitterbahn. All rides are inspected daily before opening,” park officials said Monday in a statement.

Caleb had gone to the park in western Wyandotte County on Sunday with family and friends as part of an outing for Kansas elected officials. Caleb is a son of Scott Schwab, a Kansas state representative from Olathe.

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Shortly after arriving, Caleb and his brother, Nathan, age 12, set off into the park with friends. Scott and Michele Schwab attended to their two younger boys. The parents were not on the ride with Caleb.

In a statement released Monday, Schlitterbahn officials again expressed their condolences.

“We are deeply and intensely saddened for the Schwab Family and all who were impacted by the tragic accident on the Verrückt water slide at Schlitterbahn Kansas City on Sunday afternoon.

The family and each and every one of those affected are foremost on our minds and in our hearts today. We ask the community to please keep all of those impacted in your thoughts and prayers.”

Officials said they would offer grief counseling for employees and guests. Anyone affected should call 913-312-3091 to schedule an appointment with a grief counselor.

Glenn E. Rice: 816-234-4341, @GRicekcstar