Auburn man identified as third victim killed in train derailment

Benjamin Gran, 40. Photo via family. 

The third person who was killed in Monday’s Amtrak train derailment in Dupont has been identified as an Auburn man.

Benjamin Gran, 40, was identified by the Pierce County medical examiner Wednesday. Gran’s mother – Linda Gran Daniels – talked to KIRO 7 News. She says that he loved railroads, especially Amtrak, and had taken more than 400 train rides.

Gran always wanted to take the first ride on new routes and that’s what he was doing on Monday when the train derailed in DuPont.

His employer, an autistic center in Federal Way, allowed him to take the time off and didn’t dock his pay so he could take the first trip. Gran had autism, according to his mother.

Court documents show Gran was convicted of possession of child pornography in 2014.

He was sentenced to two years in prison. Gran says her son simply made a mistake but had turned his life around.

Linda Gran says her son rode in the same rail car as the other two men who died.

Those other two men, Jim Hamre and Zack Willhoite, were best friends and rail enthusiasts. More than 70 people were injured in the derailment.

More on derailment from KIRO 7