Two Schlitterbahn maintenance workers charged in water slide death case

Posted | Contributed by PhantomTails

David Hughes, 58, of Basehor, and John Zalsman, 54, of Kansas City, Kan., each made their first appearance in Wyandotte County court on Wednesday, entering not guilty pleas during a brief hearing. The indictment says Hughes and Zalsman were interviewed by Kansas Bureau of Investigation special agents, who asked why a brake mat meant to slow the raft carrying riders on Verruckt had not been repaired after it fell off on July 28, 2016, days before Caleb Schwab's fatal ride.

Read more from The Kansas City Star.

bjames's avatar

This story just doesn't get any better. It started off as just a poorly designed ride in my mind (which is bad enough) we learn more, it seems that they ignored multiple problems with the ride, didn't do maintenance on it, and therefore allowed this disaster to occur because they sought to keep it open because it put asses in the seats, as it were. This is dark.

Last edited by bjames,

"The term is 'amusement park.' An old Earth name for a place where people could go to see and do all sorts of fascinating things." -Spock, Stardate 3025

This is just a political move by DA.

I doubt either of these workers had the authority to down this ride for multiple days .

It seems to be a management decision not workers fault as long as they passed on

information to the management.

Since this ride was badly designed(agreeing with above post)

I would assume the maintenance manuals are also badly written (if they exist)


99er's avatar

kevin38 said:

I doubt either of these workers had the authority to down this ride for multiple days .

If you are responsible for deciding whether or not the ride is safe to operate for the day, you absolutely have the authority to shut it down until it is safe. If someone above you ignores your request, you do what you have to do to ensure it does not operate. I have been in this exact situation before with both amusement rides and theatrical equipment for performers. I held my ground until everything was resolved and safe. Most of the parks I have worked for tell you that anyone has the authority to shut down a ride or show if they feel something is unsafe.


hambone's avatar

The two workers aren't charged with contributing to the accident, they are charged with obstructing justice because they lied to the investigators about the way the ride was operated.

Last edited by hambone,

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