Chilling documentary explores 'world's tallest waterslide' that tragically decapitated a kid
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A chilling new documentary explores the 'world's tallest waterslide' that tragically decapitated a child.
Based in the Schlitterbahn Water Park in Kansas City, the Verrückt was the tallest waterslide in the world standing at nearly a staggering 169 feet tall, with parkgoers travelling at a whopping 70 miles per hour.
However, the record-breaking ride ended in tragedy when 10-year-old Caleb Schwab was horrifically killed.
The Verrückt, translated from German as 'Insane', saw riders plummet down the almost vertical 17-story chute - measuring in as taller than Niagara Falls.
So, it was no wonder why so many flocked to the amusement park to feel the thrill of the ride for themselves.
However, it all went wrong on 7 August 2016 when the raft Caleb was on went airborne and hit a metal pole supporting a safety net.
It resulted in the child's decapitation and instant death.
The short film, just under 10 minutes long, was made by Missouri filmmaker Nathan Truesdell who first heard about the incident on the news.
"My first thought was that it must have been a freak accident—what a horrible, horrible story," he told The Atlantic. "But once I took a closer look, I started to realise how complicated this story really was, and how this could have happened to anyone who went down that slide."
The deathly ride first came about in 2012 when Schlitterbahn co-owner Jeff Henry teamed forces with senior designer John Schooley to construct the Verrückt in hopes to secure a Guinness World Record.
The doc titled, The Water Slide, explained that the devastating ordeal happened due to 'gross negligence, lax state regulations, and the consequences of hubris'.
Truesdell stated: "There wasn't a lot of science or ride engineering involved in the testing and design.
"They were sending sandbags down and basically hoping that they didn't fly off of the slide. The netting that ultimately ended up killing the child was added to prevent the rafts from flying off of the slide completely."
Both Henry and Schooley were subsequently indicted on 'charges of aggravated battery, aggravated endangerment of a child, interference with law enforcement, and involuntary manslaughter' following Caleb's untimely death.
However, the pair, who had allegedly skipped 'fundamental steps in the design process' and relied 'almost entirely on crude trial-and-error methods' in regards to safety testing were later dismissed of the charges.
The Schlitterbahn Water Park was shut down and the Verrückt was completely demolished.