Two more Schlitterbahn employees indicted in connection to boy's waterslide death

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (WDAF) — In front of a Kansas City, Kan., courtroom Wednesday two more indictments were unsealed in connection to the deadly 2016 waterslide incident at Schlitterbahn Water Park.

The new indictments charge David Hughes and John Zalsman with obstructing law enforcement in the Schlitterbahn investigation. The two are believed to be maintenance workers at the park.

Both Hughes and Zalsman declined to speak to reporters outside court, where they made their first appearance Wednesday and both pleaded not guilty.

Authorities said both cases against the men involve an isolated incident of obstruction of law enforcement's investigation.

Schlitterbahn released a statement Wednesday afternoon:

We have no reason to believe that any employee obstructed justice.  John and Dave have decades of experience in maintenance and are respected professionals on our maintenance team.  With the help of men and women like John and Dave, we run a safe operation and know that this was a tragic accident.  We stand behind our staff and the safety of our park.

Both men have been released on oral recognizance bonds, and are due back in court on June 12. Attorneys representing Hughes and Zalsman declined to comment.

Earlier this month, a state inspection found several alleged violations of regulations on 11 rides at the park where 10-year-old Caleb Schwab died in 2016.

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Caleb Schwab and Schlitterbahn Waterpark case
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Caleb Schwab and Schlitterbahn Waterpark case

A general view of the Verruckt waterslide at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kansas July 8, 2014, before its scheduled opening on July 10.

(REUTERS/Dave Kaup/File Photo)

BREAKING: A settlement has been reached between the family of Caleb Schwab, the boy killed while riding Verruckt, a… https://t.co/JW7aR3Kpab

An empty raft is raised to the top for another load of riders during the public opening of the Verruckt waterslide at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kansas July 10, 2014. The slide, at 168 feet 7 inches, is the world?s tallest waterslide according to the Guinness World Records. It has had its opening postponed three times.

(REUTERS/Dave Kaup)

Riders slide down Verruckt, the world's tallest water slide, at the Schlitterbahn Kansas City Waterpark on Wednesday, July 9, 2014 in Kansas City, Kan.

(John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/TNS via Getty Images)

Family and friends of Caleb Schwab leave Life Mission Church on Friday Aug. 12, 2016, following the funeral in Olathe, Kan. Caleb Schwab died Aug. 7th on the Verruckt water slide at the Schlitterbahn Water Park in Kansas City, Kan.

(John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/TNS via Getty Images)

People stream into the Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kan., on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016, as it re-opens three days after a 10-year-old boy died on the park's most noted attraction, the 17-story Verruckt slide.

(Keith Myers/Kansas City Star/TNS via Getty Images)

Riders make their way up the hump after coming down Verruckt, the world's tallest water slide, at the Schlitterbahn Kansas City Waterpark on Wednesday, July 9, 2014 in Kansas City, Kan.

(John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/TNS via Getty Images)

Riders take the plunge as an empty raft is lifted back to the top during the public opening of the Verruckt water slide at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kansas July 10, 2014. The slide, at 168 feet 7 inches, is the world?s tallest waterslide according to the Guinness World Records. It has had its opening postponed three times.

(REUTERS/Dave Kaup)

Workers scrub the Varruckt waterslide on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016, at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kan.

(Keith Myers/Kansas City Star/TNS via Getty Images)

A worker takes down netting from the Varruckt waterslide on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016, at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kan.

(Keith Myers/Kansas City Star/TNS via Getty Images)

Caleb Schwab died on the Verruckt water slide at the Schlitterbahn water park in Kansas City, Kan., in August 2016. Owners say the slide will be demolished after the investigation into the death of the 10-year-old is complete.

(Keith Myers/Kansas City Star/TNS via Getty Images)

People watch as riders approach the second stage of the Verruckt waterslide during its public opening at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kansas July 10, 2014. The slide, at 168 feet 7 inches, is the world?s tallest waterslide according to the Guinness World Records. It has had its opening postponed three times.

(REUTERS/Dave Kaup)

Lifeguards prepare to unload riders during the public opening of the Verruckt waterslide at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kansas July 10, 2014. The slide, at 168 feet 7 inches, is the world?s tallest waterslide according to the Guinness World Records. It has had its opening postponed three times.

(REUTERS/Dave Kaup)

The family of Caleb Schwab leave Life Mission Church on Friday Aug. 12, 2016, following the funeral in Olathe, Kan. Caleb Schwab died Aug. 7th on the Verruckt water slide at the Schlitterbahn Water Park in Kansas City, Kan.

(John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/TNS via Getty Images)

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The KCK water park -- along with a Schlitterbahn co-owner, slide designer and former park operations manager -- was charged in connection to Caleb's death. Charges were dropped in April against the water park due to a technicality, but officials say those charges will be refiled.

Court documents show, from August 2014 until Caleb's death in August 2016, more than a dozen people reported injuries from the ride including concussions, whiplash and herniated spinal disk injuries.

Verrückt designer John Schooley, Schlitterbahn co-owner Jeff Henry, and former park operations manager Tyler Miles are all charged with multiple felonies in Caleb's death.

Schwab died while riding the Verrückt waterslide when the raft he was on went airborne and hit a metal pole overhead.

Photo: WDAF

Miles faces a total of 20 felony charges including 12 charges of aggravated battery, five child endangerment charges, two charges of interference with law enforcement and one involuntary manslaughter in connection with death of Caleb.

Schooley and Henry face charges of reckless second-degree murder. The two, along with Henry & Sons Construction Company, Inc., were indicted in connection with injuries sustained by 13 other persons, including four other minors, while riding the waterslide. Those charges include aggravated battery and aggravated endangering a child.

All three men have pleaded not guilty to their charges and waived their right to a speedy trial, giving their attorneys times to go through the massive amount of documents and expert testimonies in the case.

Schlitterbahn opened for the season Friday, May 25, but 11 of its rides remained closed.

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