Verrückt waterslide down to the last pieces, two years after death of Caleb Schwab
The Kansas Attorney General has asked a judge to dismiss two criminal charges against a former Schlitterbahn employee under indictment following the 2016 death of a 10-year-old boy at the Kansas City, Kan., water park.
A motion filed Thursday by assistant attorneys general Adam Zentner and Shon Qualseth asks the Wyandotte County judge to dismiss two counts against Tyler Miles, former Schlitterbahn director of operations in Kansas City, Kan.
The two counts involve accusations that Miles, now a Tennessee resident, lied to authorities and concealed evidence from investigators.
The motion does not explain why the Attorney General Derek Schmidt decided to drop the charges, and a spokesman for the office did not return a message requesting an explanation. The charges were dropped without prejudice, meaning they could be refiled later. Charges against Miles of involuntary manslaughter, aggravated child endangerment and aggravated battery remain.
Miles is among five individual defendants indicted by a grand jury last year following an investigation by the attorney general into the death of Caleb Schwab on the Verruckt water slide on Aug. 7, 2016.
Caleb died when his raft went airborne and struck a metal pole on the 17-story water slide, which never operated again and has since been torn down. A pair of corporate entities associated with Schlitterbahn have also been indicted.
The criminal charges generally accuse the water park company and its associates of operating and designing a slide, the world’s tallest, that they knew was dangerous.
Miles was further accused of lying to a Kansas City, Kan., police detective and hiding evidence. The indictment said Miles told Det. Jason Sutton that he was not aware of complaints about Verruckt and withheld daily operations reports and took them to Texas, where the company’s headquarters is located. Those are the charges that the Kansas Attorney General asked to have dismissed.
The motion to drop charges against Miles is another setback for the Kansas Attorney General’s prosecution of Caleb’s death.
In October, a Wyandotte County jury acquitted two maintenance workers accused of lying to investigators. Jurors said after the trial that the Kansas Attorney General had a weak case against David Hughes and John Zalsman.