New complaints against Verruckt attraction surface after Kansas boy dies from neck injury
10 August 2016 Entertainment News
Fourth Estate Staff
Kansas City, MO, United States (4E) – After a 10-year-old boy in Kansas City died from the “Verruckt” attraction at a water park in the area from neck injury, two new complaints have surfaced about the ride.
The complaints say that the nylon shoulder straps came loose during the raft ride that features a 17-story drop. It is unclear, however, if the same problem led to the death of the 10-year-old boy, identified as Caleb Schwab, the son of a Kansas lawmaker. Authorities are yet to explain more about the cause of death of Schwab.
“Verruckt” is the tallest waterslide and has been operating for two years. Due to the incident, it will remain closed throughout the remainder of the season. The ride requires people to ride rafts and it begins with a steep drop. The rafts will go up a second hill and descend a 50-foot drop.
Riders are harnessed with two nylon seatbelt-like straps. One crosses the rider’s lap while the other stretches diagonally like a seatbelt. The straps are held in place by Velcro-style straps and not buckles.
One of the complainants is Paul Oberhauser , who is from Nebraska. He said that his shoulder restrain busted loose during his ride on the “Verruckt” on July 26. He noted that he held on and a video shot by his wife showed that the straps were loose. Another named Kenneth Conrad said that when they rode the attraction last year, his friend’s shoulder strap came completely off. Oberhauser filed a complaint to the workers in the park while Conrad did not.
Ken Martin, a Richmond, Virginia-based amusement park safety consultant, said that the straps might not be appropriate for the ride. He said, "I think they designed this ride, and they figured since stuff was flying out, we better do something to keep people from flying out. I think we have a serious issue with the restraint system. Period."
Jon Rust, a professor of textile engineering at North Carolina State University, believes that the material used for the straps are designed to keep a person in the seat but it could degrade due to the frequency of the usage.
The water park has not yet commented on the complaints that surfaced.