Finance

Amtrak 188 engineer charged with manslaughter

Amtrak 188 engineer charged with manslaughter

Just two days after city prosecutors announced they would not press charges against the Amtrak driver whose train derailed in 2015, a Philadelphia judge issued an order for the conductor's arrest on involuntary-manslaughter and reckless-endangerment counts.

Pennsylvania's attorney general has chose to bring charges against an Amtrak engineer in connection with a 2015 crash that left eight people dead and hundreds hurt in Philadelphia. Judge Marsha Neifield ruled in their favor, ordering the district attorney to charge Bostian with involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment.

Bostian, 34, was engineering the New York-bound Amtrak Train No. 188 on May 12, 2015 when he accelerated while approaching a curve at Frankford Junction in the Port Richmond neighborhood.

In addition to the eight people killed, more than 200 people were injured in the crash.

The DA's office said it was referring the prosecution to the state's attorney general to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest. He said he was left disoriented or unconscious when something struck his train before it derailed.

Emergency responders search for passengers following an Amtrak train derailment in the Frankfort section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 12, 2015.

Following the announcement, attorneys representing the family of one of those killed in the accident brought a private citizen criminal complaint against Bostian.

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The family of a NY woman who was killed sought the criminal complaint after city prosecutors declined to press charges.

Amtrak has taken responsibility for the crash and agreed to pay $265 million to settle related claims. The state AG's office will either press charges or appeal the judge's order via Superior Court. He had become aware, through radio traffic, that a nearby commuter train had been struck by a rock.

Shapiro said in a statement, "Shortly after 5 pm, my office filed criminal charges against Brandon Bostian, the engineer of the Amtrak 188 train".

Bostian did not return calls for comment.

The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office had announced Tuesday, as the two-year deadline to bring charges loomed Friday, that it couldn't prove Bostian acted with "conscious disregard" when he accelerated the train to 106 miles per hour on a 50 miles per hour curve. The investigation found no evidence that alcohol or drugs were involved.

Philadelphia prosecutors concluded this week that there was insufficient evidence to prove that Bostian acted with intent or "conscious disregard" for the passengers' safety.

The Amtrak complaint involves only the death of NY executive Rachel Jacobs, 39, who left behind a husband and 2-year-old son.


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