Other riders noticed problems with water slide at Schlitterbahn

Posted at 7:35 PM, Mar 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-23 20:35:36-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After the tragedy at Schlitterbahn in August of 2016, other people who rode the Verruckt came forward about safety issues they had noticed before the incident that took the life of 10-year-old Caleb Schwab.

The 168-foot tall water slide is still standing at Schlitterbahn. Plans to take it down stalled until the investigation is completed.

When the ride, called Verruckt, was built it was the world’s tallest water slide.

Initial testing of the ride in 2014 was captured by the Travel Channel. In the video, you can see sandbags and rafts flying off the slide.

Schlitterbahn admitted to issues with the ride including the conveyer belt, gearbox and shafts. They chose to push back the launch date two months to do a redesign. The angle of the slide was altered and the ride opened in July of 2014.

After the tragedy on August 7, 2016, 41 Action News spoke to three people who rode the Verruckt before the incident.

All three experienced faulty safety straps.

Emma Day and Jillian Swadley rode in the same raft down the water slide. Day said her strap was loose throughout the ride and Swadley says her strap came undone.

"We didn't think much of it. We told the people at the bottom — that stand on the bottom and get you out of your thing — and we told them and they just didn't really say anything,” said Swadley.

Raul Duenas had a similar incident.

"We came down that first hill and the strap just came off. Completely. It just flew off so I had to grab ahold of the straps that they had on the raft to hold myself down because we still had that other hill to go over,” said Duenas.

All three people reported the faulty straps to employees at Schlitterbahn but they say nothing was done about it.