Family prepares to sue Schlitterbahn after loved one's death

22-year employee Jose Toledo's apparently heat-related

By Jessie Degollado - Reporter, Luis Cienfuegos - Photojournalist

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas - The family of 45-year-old Jose Carmen Rodriguez Toledo said they believe the 22-year Schlitterbahn employee's death three weeks ago was heat-related.

Toledo worked as a supervisor overseeing the crews that collect and prepare the park's inner tubes, as well other crews responsible for its upkeep and maintenance.

"He put in as many hours and worked just as hard as them," said Amanda Sanders, Toledo's daughter.

Sanders and Maria Toledo, Jose Carmen Rodriguez Toledo's widow, said medical records show his temperature was 107 degrees when paramedics began working on him, and they eventually lowered his temperature to 103.5 degrees.

Toledo said paramedics tried for 90 minutes to revive her husband, but it was too late.

Family members said the paramedics were called to a Schlitterbahn property in Gruene, where Rodriguez Toledo was driven from his primary work site at the water park in New Braunfels.

"I don't understand why he wasn't driven to the hospital that was a block away," Sanders said.

RELATED: Schlitterbahn New Braunfels to be sold as part of $261 million agreement

Sanders and her mother now have hired the same attorney, who successfully sued Schlitterbahn's owners after a boy was decapitated at its park in Kansas City.

Sanders said more should be done to make sure all Schlitterbahn employees are properly hydrated and are made aware of the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

"I want to be their voice," she said. "I'm going to be dad's voice. I want to make sure his story is told."

Schlitterbahn sent KSAT 12 the following statement:

"We have all been very affected by the loss of Jose Toledo. He was a very well respected and liked by everyone who worked with him. He was a diligent and highly committed member of our team for more than 20 years. We were proud and blessed to count him as a member of the Schlitterbahn family.
 
"We had been working directly with Mrs. Toledo and have no further information we can share."

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