Raft Carrying 10-Year-Old Water Slide Victim Caleb Schwab Met Weight Requirement, Officials Confirm
The three people on the Verruckt ride weighed a combined 545 pounds
The combined weights of Caleb Schwab and the two sisters riding in the raft with him on the Verruckt water slide ride at Schlitterbahn Water Park in Kansas City was 545 pounds, which was within the weight requirement for the ride, PEOPLE has learned.
A police report obtained by PEOPLE on Monday from the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department had originally listed the riders’ combined weights as 15 pounds below the minimum weight requirement. However, hours later, KCPD Officer Thomas Tomasic revealed that the riders’ updated weights (which were obtained from the hospital) did indeed meet the requirement.
“This isn’t going to be a quick investigation,” Officer Tomasic tells PEOPLE, adding that the police department subpoenaed the medical records of the women to confirm the current weights.
Caleb’s weight was listed at 73 pounds. According to the police report, his height was 5 feet. The two sisters – a 32-year-old woman and her 25-year old sister – weighed in at 197 pounds and 275 pounds.
“We contacted the Kansas City Police Department who confirmed that the weight listed in the preliminary police report is obtained from drivers’ licenses and is not accurate; they have confirmed that the weight of the riders combined was within the limits required by the ride,” Schlitterbahn spokeswoman Winter Prosapio tells PEOPLE.
The requirements for the ride call for 2- 3 riders per raft with a combined weight between 400 and 550 pounds. Each rider must be at least 54 inches tall. The ride uses restraints made from hook-and-loop fastener material, (similar to VELCRO®), but an amusement park safety expert told PEOPLE that such material should never have been used for this type of ride.
Prosapio tells PEOPLE all riders are weighed before going on the ride.
“Riders are weighed at the bottom of the ride,” she says. “There is a scale there at the bottom and a scale at the top, and if they don’t meet the weight requirement there is a red light that goes off.”
Caleb, 10, died Aug. 7 while on the ride, which can hit speeds of up to 70 mph. He was in the front seat; seated behind him in the raft were two sisters he didn’t know. One woman had a broken jaw from the accident and another suffered a broken bone below her eye and a bruised eyeball.
Caleb was found dead at the bottom of the slide in the pool and police confirmed to PEOPLE that he had been decapitated.
Police will be looking at many factors as they piece together how the accident occurred.
“There are a lot of other things they’re going to look to to say what caused this to happen,” Officer Tomasic says.
Since the incident, PEOPLE has learned that Verruckt’s scheduled 2014 opening was delayed multiple times due to glitches, including one issue that caused water rafts to fly off the slide and into the air.
Calls for comment to the Schwab’s family attorney were not immediately returned.