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Verrückt demolition delayed until November

Slated to begin November 1
Posted: 5:00 PM, Aug 29, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-29 22:46:50Z

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Efforts to remove the Verrückt waterslide from Schlitterbahn Waterpark have been delayed.

Original plans called for major demolition to begin after Labor Day. Now that work is scheduled to begin November 1. 

The waterslide hasn't been in use since 10-year-old Caleb Schwab died on the ride in August 2016.

On Wednesday, the 41 Action News Investigators tried asking one of the slide's architects, John Schooley, about it. He's also one of several criminal defendants in Schwab's death.

Schooley and his attorney both declined to comment about Verrückt's pending demolition.

Schlitterbahn owner, Verrückt co-designer and co-defendant Jeff Henry also hasn't spoken publicly about the waterslide.

However in July, Henry's attorney Ron Barraso did.

"We've been pushing to get the ride down and we finally got all the parties to agree. So hopefully, they'll start deconstructing Verrückt here within the next 60 days or so," Barroso said in July.

Read complete coverage on Verrückt at  https://www.kshb.com/verruckt

At that July hearing, waterpark attorney Melanie Morgan announced Verrückt's demolition would begin after the park closed following Labor Day, the last day of the summer season the park would be open.

But a few weeks later, prosecutors filed a motion to give defense attorneys one more chance to inspect the ride.

The motion also asked for a list of items to be preserved as evidence from Verrückt. They include:

  • All signage bearing rider warnings and instructions
  • A section of fiberglass bearing glue residue from the failed brake located on the incline of the second hill
  • Another section of fiberglass located at the crest of the second hill
  • Two rafts

As a result, Morgan said no contractor has agreed to take down the slide without a formal court order.

Judge Robert Burns agreed to give that order after Morgan files a draft order explaining how the waterslide will be taken down.

Burns said Wednesday that Verrückt is a constant reminder of the Schwab tragedy. He also said its mere presence troubles everyone who drives by the area and sees it.

"The time has come for Verrückt to be removed. I don't want any further delays," Burns said.

Defense attorneys, including Morgan, said they have no issue with preserving some of the slide for evidence.

Morgan said once an order is in place, the waterpark will enter into a binding contract with a vendor to complete the major demolition work.

She said Schlitterbahn can do some deconstruction on its own including taking down fences.

Morgan in July said major deconstruction work would take about 3 weeks to complete. If it begins November 1, it would be close to Thanksgiving before that process is completed.

A new deadline for filing court motions in the ongoing criminal case has been set for October 31.

The next court hearing is scheduled for December 17.