The conductor of a miniature train that derailed in Cleveland Park on Saturday told police that he was going too fast, according to an incident report from the Spartanburg Public Safety Department.
Police said 15 children and two adults were taken to a local hospital after the train derailed about 1 p.m.
Sixteen of the nearly 30 passengers on the train were members of the Corinth Baptist Church in Gaffney.
The church said its pastor, Dwight Easler, and pregnant wife, Tabitha, were hospitalized. Their 6-year-old son, Benji, died in the crash, and their other sons were injured.
The incident report said that the conductor, Matt Conrad, told police as he was loaded into an ambulance that he knew better than to drive the train that fast.
"I was going too (expletive) fast," Conrad told police, according to the incident report.
Conrad told police that when he crossed onto the bridge he felt the back end of the engine come off the track, according to the incident report. The report stated Conrad told police the train then came off the rails and fell into the creek below.
Police released the following statement about the comments in the incident report:
"The statement speaks for itself. We can not analyze the entire incident based on a single uttered statement. At this point we have not reached a conclusion as to the technical or mechanical findings of the investigation. The statement, while important to the investigation, does not provide conclusive evidence of the actual speed or the functionally of the train or tracks."
|Liveleak on Facebook|