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Son of Kansas Politician, 10, Dies in Mishap on World's Tallest Water Slide


Tragedy struck at a Kansas water park over the weekend when a 10-year-old boy died while on a water slide billed as the world's tallest.

Caleb Schwab died Sunday at the Schlitterbahn Water Park, where he was riding the Verrückt ride, which holds the Guinness World Record for tallest water slide. The ride is named after the German word for "insane."

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The exact way the boy died was not specified.

Riders on the 168-foot slide sit in rafts with two to three people. The ride consists of two drops of at least 50 feet, according to the park website. Rafts can reach speeds of up to 65 miles per hour.

While riders must be at least 54 inches tall, there is no age restriction on the slide. USA Today reported in 2014 that the park originally instituted an age minimum of 14 years before deciding the height requirement to be sufficient. 

In a statement released Sunday, Representative Scott Schwab and his wife Michele wrote:

"Michele and I want to thank the Olathe and Kansas City, Kansas communities and all of our friends and family for their outpouring of support and compassion as it relates to the sudden loss of our son, Caleb Thomas Schwab.

"Since the day he was born, he brought abundant joy to our family and all those he came in contact with. As we try to mend our home with him no longer with us, we are comforted knowing he believed in our Savior Jesus, and they are forever together now. We will see him another day. 

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"Your continued prayers are welcome and appreciated. We appreciate your understanding of our family's need for privacy during this difficult time of grieving."

The Schwabs have three surviving children.

The park was cleared following Caleb's death and the park remained closed Monday.

Authorities are conducting a full investigation of The Verrückt, according to the AP. The death is being investigated as accidental.

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