Caleb Schwab

Charges filed after young boy’s decapitation on 168-foot water slide

The former operations director of a Kansas water park was arrested Friday on involuntary manslaughter charges for the 2016 death of a boy on a 168-foot water slide.

Per The Kansas City Starex-Schlitterbahn employee Tyler Austin Miles, 29, was arrested in connection with the August 7, 2016, death of Caleb Schwab, 10. Miles worked at the Kansas City water park when Schwab entered the Verruckt water slide and was somehow decapitated.

On the day in question, Caleb’s father, state Rep. Scott Schwab, brought the family to the Kansas City park for Lawmaker Day.

Moments after the 10-year-old entered the slide in a raft, Esteban Castaneda told ABC News that he heard a “boom” and a raft emerged in front of Caleb’s decapitated body. Castaneda claimed that two women who were sitting in the back of the raft were covered in blood.

One of the women suffered a broken jaw and the other broke a bone in her face and suffered an eye injury that required stitches. Both women ultimately settled with the park for undisclosed amounts. Last year, the Schwab family also reached a settlement with the water park; lawyers told ABC that the settlement is for the deceased boy’s brothers.

WDAF reported that Miles was responsible for overseeing all property operations, including water quality, aquatics, facility services, and maintenance.  Miles is accused of telling the lifeguard on duty to lie to police and covering up previous injury reports, which authorities said delayed their investigation by six months. Riders reportedly suffered broken bones and concussions on the ride prior to Schwab’s death.

An indictment stated that the ride underwent a renovation in 2014. At the time, the former director, along with Verruckt lead designer John Schooley and Jeff Henry, co-owner of Schlitterbahn Waterpark, supposedly knew that the re-work failed to address ongoing issues with the slide that caused rafts to become airborne.

According to the indictment, Henry is accused of rushing the slide to construction despite being aware of a slew of design flaws. Authorities believe Henry was motivated by the desire to boast to competitor park owners about the 168-foot ride, which was advertised as the world’s largest water slide, ABC reported.

Miles and Schlitterbahn Waterpark were charged with aggravated battery and aggravated endangering a child. In addition to manslaughter, Miles is also facing two counts of interfering with law enforcement.

Miles, who lives in Tennessee, was released from jail later Friday after posting $50,000 bond. A jury trial has been scheduled for September 10.

[Featured Image: Caleb Schwab/GoFundMe]