No charges filed in Upstate miniature train crash

Photo Credit: FILE

SPARTANBURG, SC (WHNS) - A spokesman for a church group on board a miniature train that derailed in Spartanburg earlier this year said Monday that no charges will be filed in connection with the crash. Authorities later confirmed that no charges will be filed Tuesday morning.

Benji Easler, 6, of Gaffney, was killed when the train derailed in March at Cleveland Park. Nearly 30 other people, mostly children, were hurt. Most of the people on board the train were members of Corinth Baptist Church.

The Spartanburg County Coroner's Office said June 13 its investigation found that excessive speed caused the fatal derailment. Investigators said that the train's speed was estimated at 20 mph in the curve where it left the tracks overturned into a creek. They said the manual for the train operator said 8 mph is the top speed to be used in the curve.

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Nathan Ellis, Gaffney fire chief and spokesman for the church, said investigators told him that charges will not be filed in connection with the crash. He said the church's pastor was told about the decision by the Solicitor's Office last week.

Ellis said members are fine with the decision.

(This story courtesy WHNS and