Jury acquits workers in Kansas waterslide death case

They are the first employees to stand trial in the August 2016 death of Caleb Schwab.

Posted: Oct. 18, 2018 2:19 PM
Updated: Oct. 18, 2018 2:23 PM

Two Kansas water park workers have been found not guilty of lying during an investigation into the decapitation death of a 10-year-old boy on a waterslide.

Jurors on Thursday acquitted David Hughes and John Zalsman of obstruction of justice.

They are the first employees to stand trial in the August 2016 death of Caleb Schwab. The boy died while riding the 17-story Verruckt waterslide at Schlitterbahn in Kansas City.

Prosecutors say Hughes and Zalsman failed to replace a brake mat that fell off the slide two weeks before the raft Caleb was riding in went airborne, slamming the boy into a metal pole. Two women on the raft were also injured.

Prosecutors alleged the men lied and said the mat had only been used during testing.

The park's co-owner and the ride's designer have also been indicted.

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