Brandon Bostian, Amtrak engineer, charged over fatal 2015 derailment in Philly

Marco Green
May 14, 2017

Pennsylvania's top prosecutor Friday charged a speeding Amtrak engineer with causing a "catastrophe" in the deadly 2015 derailment that came when he accelerated to 106 miles per hour on a 50 miles per hour curve.

The move comes days after prosecutors in the city of Philadelphia said they would not pursue charges.

WASHINGTON, May 13 ― Criminal charges were filed yesterday against a USA passenger train driver for the 2015 derailment in Philadelphia that killed eight people and injured more than 200.

Brandon Bostian now faces one count of causing or risking a catastrophe, eight counts of involuntary manslaughter and numerous counts of reckless endangerment.

Philadelphia Municipal Court President Judge Marsha Neifeld ordered Thursday for the engineer to be criminally charged. So the DA referred the case to the state attorney general who filed charges. Federal investigators determined that Bostian allowed the train to speed up to 106 miles per hour in a curve suitable for only half of that speed.

"The National Transportation Safety Board concluded in August 2016 that Bostian likely caused the derailment, which occurred as the engineer accelerated into a curve rather than braking".

Kline and attorney Robert Mongeluzzi represent 32 victims in ongoing litigation against Amtrak, which has declined to comment to CNN.

The report said Mr Bostian was distracted by radio communications about another train driver whose train had been hit by an object.

"Bostian was an experienced engineer who was aware of the route and the fact that there were speed limits throughout the route", reads the police criminal complaint filed by Shapiro's office.

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

The NTSB said it found no evidence that Bostian was impaired or using a cellphone during the Washington-to-New York run.

Amtrak has taken responsibility for the crash and agreed to pay $265 million to settle claims filed by victims and their families. The company has since installed positive train control systems in its trains, which automatically slow a speeding train.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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