Designer of 17-story Schlitterbahn water slide arrested in boy's death

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The designer of the water slide that decapitated a 10-year-old boy at Schlitterbahn's Kansas City park in 2016 was arrested Monday evening at DFW Airport.

Designer John Schooley, who was arriving on a flight from China, is accused of shoddy planning of the world's tallest waterslide.

Caleb Schwab was killed in August 2016 while riding the 168-foot-tall "Verruckt" - German for "insane".

A grand jury indictment unsealed in March charges Schlitterbahn Waterparks & Resorts co-owner Jeff Wayne Henry, park director Tyler Austin Miles, and the construction company that built the water slide, with a host of criminal offenses.

Cameron County sheriff's Chief Deputy Gus Reyna Jr. says 62-year-old Jeffrey Henry was taken from a South Texas jail to Kansas on Tuesday to face charges including second-degree murder in the 2016 death of Caleb Schwab. All are charged with multiple counts of aggravated battery and aggravated endangering a child in connection with injuries to other riders on the waterslide.

Schooley and Henry are now being held in Texas, pending transfer to Kansas.

He waived extradition and on Tuesday afternoon was transferred from the county jail in Brownsville, Texas, to Kansas officials. "In fact, the design and operation of the Verruckt complied with few, if any, of the industry safety standards".

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The water slide was said to be world's largest and was designed by Schooley, who "possesses no engineering credentials relevant to amusement ride design or safety", a 47-page indictment filed by the state of Kansas said.

Schlitterbahn, which also operates four water parks in Texas, has vowed to fight the charges.

Nevertheless, Schooley was responsible for doing "the math" that went into the slide's design. In one of those cases, a 15-year-old girl went temporarily blind, according to the indictment.

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.

The Schwab family reached settlements of almost $20 million with Schlitterbahn and various companies associated with the design and construction of the waterslide.

"The allegation that we operated, and failed to maintain, a ride that could foreseeably cause such a tragic accident is beyond the pale of speculation", the water park said in a statement last week.

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

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