Children’s Train Overturns at Cleveland Park: One Child Dead, Multiple Injuries

News Channel 7 HD By Staff Reports Published: March 19, 2011 Updated: March 19, 2011 – 9:27 PM The Spartanburg County Coroner says 6 year old Benjamin Samuel Easler of Gaffney S.C. died in the Cleveland Park train crash Saturday afternoon. The coroner says Easler was a passenger on the train. The coroner says there were more than 20 people reported on the train at the time of the wreck. There are over 25 people being treated atWithin its first hour of operation, Sparkles the train overturned into a creek at Cleveland park in Spartanburg South Carolina. The train can hold up to 30 riders and police don’t have an exact count of who was on board. They say as busy as the park was. The train was likely full. Herman Howell saw the crash, called 9-11 and ran to help. “I was helping put one guy on the stretcher and pull one kid out the train right there,” said Howell. Matt Conrad was the man in the engine when the crash happened. Jeff Caton with the Spartanburg Parks Commission says Conrad is not only a veteran driver but also trains the interns. Matt got here at about 9:00 and prepared train and did some solo runs around the track and made sure everything was in working order,” said Caton. Sparkles was one of two trains purchased in 1942 and refurbished over the years. The train did not have seatbelts but Caton says they’re not required and probably wouldn’t have played much of a role in the accident. “I’m going to suggest to you the train has been in operation for 58 years and we’ve never had problem,” said Caton. But this is an event that no one wants to see happen again. “I wish I never even came. I just thought it was a bust or something simple but it was just way beyond what I expected, pretty bad A prayer service was held at 8:30 Saturday Night at Central Baptist Church in Gaffney. The church is located at 500 East Montgomery Street in Gaffney. The public is welcome to attend. The derailment is under investigation.

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