KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) – The two women who were on the Verruckt waterslide when 10-year old Caleb Schwaab was killed have hired attorneys.
The women, who are sisters, reportedly suffered facial injuries including a broken jaw.
Lawyers for Hannah Barnes and Matraca Baetz released a statement to KCTV5 News, saying that they have been hired to conduct “a thorough investigation of this tragic event to ensure that any and all measures are taken to prevent this from ever happening again.”
Here is the full statement from attorney Lynn R. Johnson:
We are pursuing a thorough investigation of this tragic event to insure that any and all measures are taken to prevent this from ever happening again. Being mothers ourselves, we can only hope that Caleb’s family can find some comfort in knowing we are doing everything we know how to do to stop something so tragic from occurring again to any other family!
Although not part of their statement, they have authorized my firm and I to proceed with the investigation with directions to get to the bottom of what happened not only on that tragic Sunday but also everything that lead up to the tragedy. They want answers from the beginning of the process that lead to creating the Verruckt through the reports of other close calls that may have been ignored!
Various amusement park engineers have been critical of how the waterslide was operated.
Since the tragedy at Schlitterbahn, riders have stepped forward with accounts of straps failing. Other families said their rafts went airborne and reported it.
“As soon as I hit the bottom on the first curve, the shoulder strap just kind of busted loose,” said rider Paul Oberhauser.
Those accounts could be important evidence to the attorneys who are spearheading their own independent investigation.
Attorney John Parisi says while police focus on possible crimes, their investigation takes a different turn. They want to know what happened before Caleb Schwab rode the Verruckt.
“We would like to know what others have accounted in terms of rafts leaving the spillway or going airborne or restraint systems not working properly,” Parisi said. “We are looking at it from more of an engineering standpoint and we will retain what experts independently view what happened what happened and why it happened and prevent it from happening again.”
The lawyers who are representing the sisters say they are working with the legal team representing the Schwab family.