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Parents of boy decapitated on water slide get $29 million settlement

Ten-year-old Caleb Schwab died while riding a water slide in Kansas City in 2016 when he flew off the multi-person raft and plummeted 15 metres.

The family of a 10-year-old boy killed on a water slide in Kansas will receive nearly US$20 million (NZD$29 million) in settlements from companies associated with the water park.

Caleb Schwab, 10, was riding down a water slide at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City on August 7, 2016 when he flew off the multi-person raft and plummeted 15 metres.

Schwab was decapitated in front of his older brother, 12-year-old Nathan, as his other two brothers and parents were elsewhere in the park.

Court documents show the Schwab family will be paid US$14 million (NZ$20 million), by SVV 1 and KC Water Park, two companies associated with the Texas-based water park operator Schlitterbahn, The Kansas City Star reports.

The remaining settlement will come from the contractor on the ride, the manufacturer of the raft that carried the riders to the slide, and the consultants to the 17-story ride that broke records for the height of a water slide.

Settlements between the parties was reached in January and again in April, but the details were not released. However The Kansas City Star filed court proceedings, arguing the amounts paid by each defendant should be released to ensure those responsible for Caleb’s death were held publicly accountable.

The family declined to comment publicly on the settlement, but Schwab's parents spoke in an interview with Good Morning America about their heartbreak in March, with dad Scott recalling the last time he saw his baby boy.

“Before they took off I said, 'Brothers stick together.' And he said, 'I know dad,'” said Scott.

He also described the horrific moment he approached a man on site looking for answers.

“I said, 'I just need to hear it from you, is my son dead?' And he just shook his head, and I said, 'I need to hear it from you, is he dead?'

"And he said, 'Yes, your son is dead.'"