Amtrak engineer in deadly 2015 crash charged with involuntary manslaughter

A Philadelphia judge has ordered prosecutors to criminally charge speeding Amtrak engineer Brandon Bosti

Prosecutors say they have been in talks with Bostian's attorney to have him surrender and be arraigned on the charges. However, federal safety investigators concluded that nothing struck the train prior to it crashing.

Other lawyers have called last year's NTSB report on the crash a "whitewash" and a "quantum leap". The attorney general's office said it is reviewing the judge's order and there is an option to appeal the order.

When the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office announced on May 9 that they would not be pressing charges against Bostian, prosecutors said they did not feel they not prove criminal intent nor knowledge - based on interviews with multiple detectives, railroad-safety experts and Amtrak officials.

Amtrak 188 was carrying 243 people from Washington to NY on May 12 when it hurtled off the track in Philadelphia.

Brandon Bostian, 34, has been charged with eight counts of involuntary manslaughter, one count of causing or risking a catastrophe and numerous counts of reckless endangerment.

Attorney Thomas Kline, who had sought the private complaint on the Jacobs family's behalf, said the charges wouldn't have happened "had a courageous family, the Jacobs family, not stood up against the decision of a local prosecutor not to press charges".




On Thursday afternoon, attorneys Richard A. Sprague, Thomas R. Kline and Robert J. Mongeluzzi, who represent many victims of this incident, held a news conference at their Center City office, where they applauded Judge Neifield's decision.

"I couldn't say with certainty that my memory is accurate", he told investigators in November. The other people killed included Justin Zemser, a Naval Academy midshipman; Jim Gaines, an Associated Press software architect; and Derrick Griffith, a college dean. "That's for a jury to decide in this case, as to whether or not Mr. Bostian is credible or incredible". The company has since installed positive train control systems in its trains, which automatically slow a speeding train.

Today marks the two-year anniversary of the crash.

Two trains operating on the same route were struck by flying rocks that night - the SEPTA regional rail train and an Amtrak Acela heading for Philadelphia's 30th Street Station.

Earlier in the week, the district attorney's office announced the speed of the train was responsible for the derailment but evidence was inconclusive that the train operator should be charged with a criminal offense.

Shapiro expanded on charges a Philadelphia judge approved one day earlier. "The judge this afternoon overruled them, overruled the DA's office", Kline said. "This is a moment of bringing a man to task for what he did to all of these families".

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