Further criminal charges have been handed out today in connection to the tragic death of 10-year-old Caleb Schwab, who was decapitated while riding a water slide at a Kansas theme park in the United States two years ago.
The state Attorney-General’s office released indictments against two additional people and a company involved in the construction of Schlitterbahn Waterpark and Resorts just one day after the park’s co-owner was taken into custody.
All those charged face reckless second-degree murder charges and several counts of aggravated battery and aggravated child endangerment resulting from Caleb's death in 2016, and injuries sustained by 13 other people, including four children, who were hurt while riding the water slide.
The criminal charges are the result of a 19-month investigation by local law enforcement agencies.
A formal statement issued by official on Tuesday reads: 'The death of [Caleb] appeared at first to be an isolated and unforeseeable incident until whistleblowers from within Schlitterbahn’s own ranks came forward and revealed that Schlitterbahn officials had covered up similar incidents in the past.'
'Experts in the field of amusement ride design and safety examined Verrückt and found physical evidence which indicated that other rafts had gone airborne and collided with the overhead hoops and netting before the fatality,' the statement continued. 'These experts noted that Verrückt’s design violated nearly all aspects of the longstanding industry safety standards published by ASTM. In fact, the design and operation of the Verrückt complied with few, if any, of the industry safety standards.'
Caleb’s family has received an estimated $US20 million in settlement payments from companies connected to Verrückt’s construction and operation in the wake of his death.