Published: Sun, May 14, 2017
National | By Rosalie Gross

United States train driver faces criminal charges over deadly 2015 derailment

Pennsylvania's attorney general lodged criminal charges Friday against the engineer at the throttle of the Amtrak train that crashed and killed eight people in 2015, electing to pursue involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment counts after the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office declined to prosecute.

Pennsylvania's attorney general has a wide range of options in responding to a judge's order to arrest the speeding Amtrak engineer involved in a deadly 2015 crash in Philadelphia, a law professor said Friday.

Amtrak train 188 was on its way from Washington to NY on 12 May 2015 when it came off the track in the city of Philadelphia.

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

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

Philadelphia prosecutors concluded this week that there was insufficient evidence to prove that Bostian acted with intent or "conscious disregard" for the passengers' safety. Kline represents the family of the NY victim, Rachel Jacobs, a 39-year-old technology executive, wife and mother.

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Prosecutors say they have been in talks with Bostian's attorney to have him surrender and be arraigned on the charges.

The criminal case is sure to bring new scrutiny to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) finding that Bostian had lost "situational awareness" on the curve in North Philadelphia.

Investigators found no evidence that Bostian had been on his phone at the time of the crash, or that a bullet had been fired as first reported.

Bostian has a personal injury lawsuit pending against Amtrak.

A federal judge signed off on Amtrak's $295 million settlement with the crash victims a year ago.

'One thing he has never recollected is how or why he accelerated before the curve, ' said attorney Robert Mongeluzzi, who with Kline represents about three dozen victims.

Bostian, 33, told investigators he blacked out and didn't remember what happened during the crash.

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