Probe: Speed caused deadly SC train ride derailment

SPARTANBURG, SC (AP) - - Authorities say excessive speed was to blame for the South Carolina miniature train derailment that killed a 6-year-old boy and injured dozens of others.

Investigators said Monday the train was going more than 10 mph above recommended speeds when it derailed March 19.

Benji Easler was killed and 28 others were injured when the train went off the rails and into a ditch at Spartanburg's Cleveland Park.

Coroner Rusty Clevenger is handing his report over to prosecutors, who will decide if any charges will be filed.

Police said the train's operator initially told them he was driving too fast, but Matt Conrad later backed away from that statement. State officials swiftly fired the inspector who had approved the ride for operation, saying after the crash he admitted falsifying his report.

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