Caleb Schwab died while riding the 168-foot-high Verrückt slide at Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City. Witnesses said the boy became airborne, flying out of his raft and harness and hit the netting.
Police later confirmed the boy was decapitated.
Witness Kelsey Friedrichse was on her way up the slide with her boyfriend when they noticed a crowd of people at the bottom.
‘There was a woman being treated for some kind of injury on her face and head. That was when my boyfriend said, “I think there is someone else', she told People.
That’s when they noticed the boy’s body being covered.
She added, ‘It looked like he must have somehow been ejected from his seat, bounced around between the netting and the slide and just slide down. He would have fallen down without the raft, it’s kind of like a tube.’
co-owner and Verruckt creator Jess Henry told USA Today in 2014, ‘We had many issues on the engineering side. A lot of our math was based on rollercoasters at first, and that didn’t translate to a water slide like this.
‘No one had ever done anything like this.’