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Child dies following tragic accident at waterpark

Virginia residents may have heard of the tragic death of a young boy in Kansas following an accident at a waterpark there. A 10-year-old boy died following a ride on the Verrückt water slide at Schlitterbahn waterpark in Kansas City. Currently, it is unclear whether the injury was due to a lack of repair of part of the ride or other circumstances.

The young boy descended in a raft on the world's tallest water slide with two other women before dying of a neck injury, according to the autopsy report. The water slide measures over 168 feet tall, and riders descend the ride going at speeds of up to 65 miles per hour. According to some reports, the harness straps used to restrain riders into each raft may not have been working properly on the day this tragic incident occurred. The straps used Velcro to secure the riders in their seats, and at least one rider had her Velcro belt come undone on a previous ride that day.

Significantly, amusement parks are not heavily regulated and are not under the purview of any federal agencies. According to the park's marketing materials, each of its rides is inspected daily before use. The park is currently closed during the ongoing investigation into this accident.

Though it remains to be seen whether there will be any legal ramifications following this tragic death, the waterpark may be legally responsible under a theory of premises liability. Negligent property owners, including those who do not maintain safe conditions for their visitors, can be held legally liable when injury or death occurs on the premises, as in this case.

Source: NBC News, "Like Many Others, Kansas Ride Where Caleb Schwab Died Is Minimally Regulated," Alex Johnson, Aug. 9, 2016

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