An Esquire piece lays out the story of the Verruckt tragedy, including a history of the waterpark and accounts of the slide's use.
The publication recounted the timeline leading up to the tragedy, referencing legal documents, press coverage, and comments from expert observers and users of the waterpark. In February, a judge dropped criminal charges against some Schlitterbahn employees for the death of a 10-year-old boy on the world's tallest waterslide.
Standing on a platform more than 168 feet high and overlooking the flat entirety of the Kansas plains, Jess Sanford was scared.
On vacation from Lincoln, Nebraska, with her friend Melanie Gocke and her friend’s family in August 2016, Sanford, then a rising high school junior, didn’t know anything about Schlitterbahn Kansas City. The park, which had been open since 2009, was the first effort outside of Texas for Schlitterbahn, the family-run water-park dynasty that’s become the world’s preeminent aquatic amusement giant, with its original park winning “Best Waterpark in the World” by Amusement Today for two consecutive decades.