Engineer Charged in Fatal 2015 Amtrak Crash
Reuters reports that the engineer involved in a deadly 2015 Amtrak train crash in Philadelphia has been charged with involuntary manslaughter. Local prosecutors previously cleared the engineer of criminal wrongdoing earlier last week.
Charges Filed Just Before Two-Year Deadline
According to Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Brandon Bostian has been charged with eight counts of involuntary manslaughter, one count of causing or risking a catastrophe, and numerous counts of reckless endangerment. Bostian is expected to surrender to authorities.
Bostian was initially cleared Tuesday as the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office claimed not to have enough evidence to bring charges. While the district attorney’s office had determined that the derailment was caused by the engineer operating the train far in excess of the posted speed limit, it found no evidence of criminal intent.
However, the charges were revived Thursday at the order of a Philadelphia municipal court judge. The order came just before the two-year deadline to charge Bostian.
Prosecutors have referred the case against Bostian to the Attorney General’s office to avoid potential conflicts of interest.
Details of the Deadly Amtrak Train Crash
The initial accident occurred May 12, 2015 when the Amtrak train entered a 50 mph curve at speeds in excess of 100 mph. The crash left eight people dead and more than 200 people injured.
Bostian filed a lawsuit against Amtrak in which he claimed something struck the train before the derailment, leaving him unconscious or disoriented; however, an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board concluded that nothing had struck the train and that Bostian was likely distracted by his radio when the crash occurred.
Amtrak has taken responsibility for the crash and have set aside $265 million for claims filed by victims and their families.