Hundreds Gather For Train Victim's Funeral

Photo Credit: FOX Carolina

GAFFNEY (FOX Carolina) -- Hundreds of mourners gathered at a Gaffney church Thursday afternoon for the funeral of the boy killed in Saturday's miniature train derailment.

Benji Easler, 6, of Gaffney, died when the train left its tracks at Cleveland Park in Spartanburg. Benji's funeral was being held at Corinth Baptist Church, where his father, Dwight Easler, is pastor.

Dwight Easler, his wife, Tabitha, and their two other sons were among the 27 people injured in the crash.

Hundreds gather in Gaffney on Thursday, March 24, 2011 to mourn 6-year-old Benji Easler, who was killed in Saturday's miniature train derailment in Spartanburg's Cleveland Park. View More Images The pastor talked to the media after his son's memorial service Wednesday night. He said his family's faith and the support of the community is helping them cope with the tragedy.

"All of the emails and the cards and the notes," Easler said. "We just thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Our faith is the only thing that's sustaining us through these things and the Lord's been good to us."

Easler described his son as a happy boy who love to play and wrestle with his brothers.

Read more Injured family suing over Upstate train ride wreck Upstate ride operator says train was going too fast before fatal crash "He loved to talk about heaven," Easler said. "He loved the Lord, and going to Sunday school, and we just know he is with Him now."

The train driver, Matt Conrad, said Wednesday he thought the engine and the track were safe. He had told police Saturday he was going too fast. His lawyers said Wednesday he was in shock when he said that.

"He said I was, I think, visibly shaken or something to that nature," Conrad said. "That's the understatement of the millennia. I was hysterical."

The family of one person injured in the crash has sued, accusing state and local officials of negligence.

A fund has been set up for the people affected by Saturday's crash. Donations can be made at Frist Piedmont Bank in Gaffney and Spartanburg to Corinth Baptist Church.

(This story courtesy FOX Carolina.)