Prosecutors drop 2 charges against former water park worker

Topeka — Kansas prosecutors are dropping two criminal charges against a former employee at a water park where a 10-year-old boy died on a water slide.

The charges accuse Tyler Miles of lying to authorities and concealing evidence from investigators, The Kansas City Star reported. Miles — who was director of operations at Schlitterbahn water park in Kansas City, Kan., when Caleb Schwab was decapitated on the ride on Aug. 7, 2016 — still faces charges of involuntary manslaughter, aggravated child endangerment and aggravated battery.

Kansas Assistant Attorneys General Adam Zentner and Shon Qualseth asked a Wyandotte County judge to dismiss the charges in a motion filed Thursday. The motion doesn’t give a reason for why the attorney general’s office was dropping the charges. Spokesman Clint Bales said Friday that the office wouldn’t comment on pending litigation.

Miles, who now lives in Tennessee, was one of five people indicted by a grand jury last year after an investigation into the boy’s death on the 17-story Verrückt waterslide, which was marketed as the world’s tallest slide.

Caleb died when his raft went airborne and hit a metal pole. The slide never operated again and has been torn down.

The most serious charges were filed against Schlitterbahn owner Jeff Henry, Verrückt designer John Schooley and general contractor Henry & Sons Constructions. Each is charged with second-degree murder, aggravated battery and aggravated endangerment of a child. The charges generally accuse them of designing and operating a ride that they knew was dangerous.

They have all pleaded not guilty. Their trials have not yet been scheduled.


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