Schlitterbahn waterslide designer arrested in Dallas

by Garry Watts April 4, 2018, 1:00
Schlitterbahn waterslide designer arrested in Dallas

Henry, along with a ride designer named John Schooley, are charged in an indictment unsealed Tuesday with reckless second-degree murder for the decapitation death of 10-year-old Caleb Schwab in 2016.

John Schooley, 72, was taken into custody at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport after returning from China, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

Schooley, one of the designers of the water park slide that decapitated a 10-year-old boy in 2016, was arrested late Monday, April 2, 2018, by federal authorities in Dallas. They are also charged with multiple counts of aggravated endangering of a child and aggravated battery in connection with injuries to other riders on the slide.

He was arrested after returning to the US from China and will be will be held in North Texas until his arraignment in Kansas, the Kansas City Star reports.

Henry was arrested March 27th in South Padre Island, Texas, by the U.S. Marshals Service. The "rushed project and lack of expertise" resulted in the company skipping "fundamental steps in the design process".

An indictment said Schooley was responsible for doing "the math" that went into the slide's design and signed an operations manual claiming the ride met all American Society for Testing and Materials standards.

"Not a single engineer was directly involved in Verruckt's dynamic engineering or slide path design", the indictment said.

During the ride's 182 days in operation, 13 injuries were reported, including two concussions.

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The grand jury indictment claims that Schooley had no education in engineering and lacked the qualifications to build the Verruckt waterslide, billed as the tallest in the world, on which riders could reach speeds of up to 70 miles per hour.

Schwab was the son of Kansas state Rep. Scott Schwab, and died on a day when admission was free to the families of state legislators.

The two other women he was riding with were also seriously injured, one suffered a fractured jaw bone while the other had an orbital bone fracture.

Verruckt's design "violated almost all aspects of the longstanding industry safety standards", according to the indictment.

Tyler Austin Miles, the former operations manager at the park, was also indicted last week for several charges including involuntary manslaughter.

In a statement to CNN last week, the Schlitterbahn Waterpark called Schwab's death "tragic", but maintained that the defendants would be proven innocent when the case goes to trial.

"If we actually knew how to do this, and it could be done that easily, it wouldn't be that spectacular", Schooley allegedly said, according to the indictment.

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