Engineer charged in deadly Amtrak crash

Engineer charged in deadly Amtrak crash

A Philadelphia judge has ordered two private criminal complaints be filed in the deadly Amtrak train derailment there, a day after prosecutors decided not to charge the operator.

Judge Marsha Neifield ordered prosecutors to charge Brandon Bostian with involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment after meeting with lawyers for the families of some of the deceased.

"I firmly believe that the overwhelming evidence of Brandon Bostian operating a train at 106 miles per hour in a 50 miles per hour zone, around a curve, consciously accelerating and then consciously decelerating, while having responsibility for the safety of 248 people meets the standard of reckless endangerment".

"I commend our outstanding team in the Office of the Attorney General who worked diligently and thoughtfully around the clock to enable us to be in this position to pursue justice on behalf of the victims of this deadly crash", Shapiro said in a statement.

The city has since referred the prosecution to the state attorney general, in order to avoid any conflict of interest. In announcing Tuesday that it would not charge Bostian, the District Attorney's Office said there was not enough evidence to establish criminal responsibility.

Bostian, 34, of Forest Hills, New York, is charged with eight counts of involuntary manslaughter in the crash that killed eight people and injured about 200 others.

In May 2016, the National Transportation Safety Board said in a report that Bostian was probably distracted by radio traffic when the crash occurred. A lawyer for Bostian did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Friday.

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Sprague sought the order along with plaintiffs' lawyers Kline and Robert Mongeluzzi, who represent dozens of victims in lawsuits against Amtrak.

Amtrak 188, originating in Washington, D.C., was bound for NY. The other people killed included Justin Zemser, a Naval Academy midshipman; Jim Gaines, an Associated Press software architect; and Derrick Griffith, a college dean.

The NTSB said it found no evidence that Bostian was impaired or using a cellphone during the Washington-to-New York run. Amtrak later said the system was installed on the tracks, but not activated. The federal organization focused on a radio conversation between Bostian, a dispatcher and a SEPTA Regional Rail engineer who claimed rocks were being thrown at his auto around Frankford Junction, where Bostian's train was traveling.

Today marks the two-year anniversary of the crash.

The family of Rachel Jacobs then filed a private criminal complaint in Philadelphia Municipal court.

Kline spoke to Jacobs' father, John Jacobs, shortly after the charges were announced and said the man "wept at his daughter's grave tonight".

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