Haunting Last Words Dad Said to Sons Before One Was Decapitated On Waterslide

"Six went to the park, and five came back," Scott and Michelle Schwab are speaking out for the first time about the day they lost their son, Caleb.

Last summer, 10-year-old Caleb Schwab was decapitated and died immediately when his harness broke on the world's tallest waterslide, the Verrückt, at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kansas on August 7th, 2016.

The 17-story Verrückt opened in 2014, after several design issues such as rafts flying off of the slide during test rides. Once the waterslide had opened to the public, riders came forward with their own horror stories of how their harnesses broke.

Caleb's dad, Scott Schwab (a Kansas State Representative) and his family were excited to visit the waterpark that summer day when families of state legislators got in with free admissions. Upon arriving to the park, Caleb and his 12-year-old brother, Nathan, ran straight for Verrückt.

Scott's last words to his boys as they ran off for the slide were: "Brothers stick together."

 

Scott's last words to his boys as they ran off for the slide were: "Brothers stick together."

With strict weight restrictions and each raft needing 400 to 550lb to operate, the brothers were forced to ride in two separate rafts. Nathan rode first and waited at the bottom for his little brother, Caleb, who would never make it. Nathan watched in horror as he screamed, "He flew from Verrückt, he flew from Verrückt." Caleb was ejected from his seat and decapitated by the ride's safety netting after his saftey harness broke open. 

Caleb's parents, Scott and Michelle, are speaking out for the first time to ABC News

"There was a gentleman who wouldn't allow me to come close enough to see what was going on, and he just kept saying, 'Trust me, you don't want to go any further,'" Michele Schwab said. "I kind of knew in my mind that I shouldn't see it, that I probably don't want to see it."

Scott Schwab said his shock was so deep, he demanded a good Samaritan confirm the incomprehensible for him.

"I said, 'I just need to hear you say — is my son dead?' and he just shook his head," Scott Schwab said. "I need to hear it from you ... is my son dead? And he said, 'Yes, your son's dead.'"

 

Scott Schwab said that in the months after the tragedy, the family members, especially the three surviving brothers, soothe themselves by watching videos of Caleb. But for the parents, it can be overwhelming.

"There's times when it's like, I can't look at that right now, and there's other times when you can't sleep and you want to look at it," Scott Schwab said.

The Schwabs decided to break their silence to express their gratitude for all the support that has flooded in from around the world, according to Scott Schwab.

"We have a box of greeting cards from around the world, and we just want people to know we're grateful, and yeah, we're still hurting, but we're going to be OK," he said.

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