On February 22nd, 2019 an outrageous miscarriage of justice occurred when Kansas judge Robert P. Burns dismissed all charges against Jeffrey Wayne Henry, John Timothy Schooley, Tyler Austin Miles and Henry and Sons Construction Incorporated in the death of Caleb Schwab. 10 year-old Caleb was killed at Schlitterbahn Water Park Kansas City on Sunday, August 7th 2016 while riding the Verruckt water slide because of the aforementioned parties' utter disregard for safety in the both the design and operation phases of the ride. The Schwab family deserves justice for their son. Please sign to petition Governor Kelly and Attorney General Derek Schmidt to bring new charges against those responsible.
Despite having no engineering or architectural experience, John Schooley and Jeffrey Henry succeeded in designing the world's tallest water slide at the time of its opening in 2014. In order to accomplish this historic feat, they ignored the warnings of numerous experts in the field of engineering and park safety, relying only on crude trial and error to test the ride with sandbags (which ultimately showed the ride was not safe) instead of the mathematically intensive calculations necessary to compensate for differences in rider weight distribution among very basic factors like the coefficient of friction between the rafts and the slide.
The Verruckt ride opened on July 10, 2014. By August 7th, 2016 there had already been over a dozen reported injuries on the ride and many more complaints about rafts separating from the slide causing riders to make contact with the "safety" netting (which no one with park safety experience would have ever approved) that surrounded the slide. Schlitterbahn's Director of Operations, Tyler Miles, chose to ignore these reports. John Schooley and Jeff Henry decided to ignore the advice of experts and the results of their own half-baked safety tests and approve the design for construction anyway. Henry and Sons Construction (Jeff Henry's family's own company) ignored advice from their own employees and rushed the project to completion rather than review the design for safety and constructing netting around the ride that would never have been approved by anyone with experience in amusement park safety.
Caleb Schwab was decapitated by the safety netting in front of his family and other park attendees when his raft separated from the slide. He followed all safety instructions.
Judge Burns threw the case out because evidence was admitted that was deemed prejudicial. The jury was allowed to view some footage from a 2012 television show where Jeff Henry bragged that "the mathematicians were wrong," referring to the experts who had warned Henry that Verruckt's design was unsafe. The Schwab family deserves justice for their son and the responsible parties cannot be allowed to continue profiting from the same people whose lives they so recklessly endangered and continue to endanger at their Schiltterbahn parks. Please do not allow these men to walk free after such gross criminal negligence. Caleb's death was not an accident. It was a calculated risk taken by Jeff Henry, John Schooley and Tyler Miles in order to profit from a record-breaking water attraction. Make them pay.