Kansas Water Park Witness Describes ‘Horrific Scene’ After Boy Suffers Fatal Injury on Slide

John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/TNS via Getty Images(KANSAS CITY, Kan.) -- A 10-year-old boy who died on a water slide in Kansas City suffered a fatal neck injury, officials said, as a witness recounted the "horrific scene" and the "panic" that erupted in the wake of the incident last Sunday.

Esteban Castaneda told ABC News he first heard a "boom" on Schlitterbahn Water Park's Verrückt water slide, which is promoted as the world's tallest.

He then saw a raft come through, and "immediately after the raft ... you see a body," he said.

He said there were two women sitting in the back of the raft with blood on them.

Castaneda, who says he hasn't been interviewed by police, said he then started running towards the slide after which he said he heard a lifeguard yelling and a boy screaming hysterically.

Castaneda saw the young victim, Caleb Schwab, laying in the water, but he said a lifeguard told him, "There's nothing you can do."

Police said Caleb suffered a fatal neck injury. The two other women in his raft, who were not related to Caleb, suffered minor injuries, police said.

Family Pastor Clint Sprague told reporters Monday that Caleb "was an incredible young man" who was "full of life."

He was "affectionate" and a "hugger," Sprague said, and he loved baseball, basketball and his church.

"Caleb was a 10-year-old child, but in many ways he was a man of God," Sprague said.

A memorial service will be held Friday afternoon, Sprague said.

The boy's father, Kansas Rep. Scott Schwab, thanked the community for the outpouring of support his family has received.

"Since the day he was born, he brought abundant joy to our family and all those he came in contact with," he said.

Kansas House Speaker Ray Merrick sent an email to other members of the state legislature asking for their prayers for the boy's family.

"It is with an absolutely broken heart we have to ask for prayers for the Schwab family who suddenly and tragically lost their sweet and energetic son in an accident today," he wrote. "No words can express the pain we all feel for this terrible tragedy."

In a statement, park officials said they "are deeply and intensely saddened for the Schwab Family and all who were impacted by the tragic accident."

"The family and each and every one of those affected are foremost on our minds and in our hearts today. We ask the community to please keep all of those impacted in your thoughts and prayers," representatives for the park said.

Schlitterbahn said all rides are inspected daily before opening. The Verrückt ride is closed but the park is tentatively scheduled to reopen on Wednesday.


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Celebrities, politicians post tributes to comedian, activist Dick Gregory

Celebrities, politicians post tributes to comedian, activist Dick GregoryBrent N. Clarke/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The death of comedian and activist Dick Gregory at age 84 on Saturday prompted a flood of tributes on Twitter from celebrities, activists and others.

Jane Sanders recalled how her husband -- Bernie Sanders, Democratic senator from Vermont and former presidential candidate -- once spent a night in jail with Gregory after protesting segregation in Chicago.

RIP Dick Gregory, a good & brave man. He & @SenSanders spent the night in jail together for protesting Chicago segregated schools in the 60s https://t.co/pYpMU34eOx

— Jane O'Meara Sanders (@janeosanders) August 20, 2017

Democratic National Committee vice chairman Keith Ellison posted a photo of himself with Gregory. "Thank you for giving yourself to all of us," he wrote.

Dick Gregory, may God Bless you and Keep you. Thank you for giving yourself to all of us. pic.twitter.com/Z1dLIvYuBn

— Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) August 20, 2017

Activist and writer Shaun King posted pictures of Gregory as a young man. "Rest in power, good sir," King wrote.

Because many of you probably only knew Dick Gregory as an older man, I wanted to show you these young images.

Rest in power good sir. pic.twitter.com/ZayInokcaJ

— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) August 20, 2017

Singer John Legend called Gregory a "groundbreaker in comedy and a voice for justice."

Dick Gregory lived an amazing, revolutionary life. A groundbreaker in comedy and a voice for justice. RIP

— John Legend (@johnlegend) August 20, 2017

Some people posted excerpts from Gregory's memoir, "Callous on My Soul," such as when he wrote about a waitress in the South telling him that they "don't serve colored people."

White lady: We don't serve colored people here.

Dick Gregory: I don't eat colored people. Bring me a whole fried chicken.

RIP Mr. Gregory😰 pic.twitter.com/t8dnuRJhBC

— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) August 20, 2017

Here is a sample of some other tweets paying tribute to Gregory and lamenting his passing.

Comedian Dick Gregory always told it like it is. Our laughter was fuel to fight for justice in an unjust world. RIP 1932-2017 pic.twitter.com/wpbdEkvny1

— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) August 20, 2017

Marching w/ King. Sitting w/ Ali. Paving the way for our comedic greats. All while fighting for us.

Rest well Dick Gregory. #blkcreatives pic.twitter.com/GsfRTjHSuy

— #blkcreatives netwrk (@blkcreatives) August 20, 2017

He taught us how to laugh. He taught us how to fight.He taught us how to live.Dick Gregory was committed to justice.I miss him already. #RIP pic.twitter.com/3CfpM2O17D

— Rev Jesse Jackson Sr (@RevJJackson) August 20, 2017

Rest In Peace to civil rights icon Dick Gregory. An inspiration. A hero. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/kIzeYMNjor

— Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) August 20, 2017


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