Spartanburg police confirmed Tuesday no charges will be filed in a deadly children’s train accident that happened back in March at Cleveland Park.
Department of Public Safety Director Tony Fisher said a solicitor’s review of the evidence found the train’s operator, Matt Conrad, did not act recklessly in connection with the crash.
He said there was little evidence that would justify criminal charges against the train’s driver. “There is no indication that Mr. Conrad was under the influence of any drugs or alcohol, or that he had any intent to cause the accident,” Fisher said, “Proving mere negligence would not be a problem, but it would be impossible to prove that Mr. Conrad acted with a reckless disregard for the safety of his passengers.”
Fisher said the decision was reached by 9th Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson after a review of the evidence.
Earlier this year, an investigation found operator error caused the train to go too fast when it rolled off the tracks on a tight turn. Investigators said the train was going 22 mph at the time, when it should have been going only 8 mph. The state Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation also revealed a state inspector had falsified his report on the ride only days before the crash.
Six year old Benji Easler of Gaffney was killed in the March accident, while 28 others were injured.