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Amtrak Engineer Charged In Deadly 2015 Philadelphia Train Crash

13 May 2017

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro expanded on charges a Philadelphia judge approved a day earlier after the family of a woman killed in the crash sought a private criminal complaint.

Brandon Bostian has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, causing or risking a catastrophe, and "numerous" counts of reckless endangerment, prosecutors said.

A two-year investigation by the DA's office found that Bostian's speeding caused the train to derail, killing eight people and injuring more than 200 others. The speed limit climbs from 50 miles per hour to 110 miles per hour about a mile and a half after the curve.

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.

Attorney Kline and Mongeluzzi noted that Shapiro's office charged Bostian with the same crimes that the Philadelphia District Attorney declined to prosecute.

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After Neifield's order, Cameron L. Kline, communications director for the district attorney's office, said in a statement: "Judge Neifield has ordered the filing of two private criminal complaints as a result of the Amtrak train 188 derailment".

NewsWorks reports that the family of 39-year-old Rachel Jacobs, a crash victim, filed a private citizen complaint on Wednesday.

However, the NTSB concluded that nothing struck his locomotive and victims' lawyers had questioned why Bostian would have sped up, rather than slow down, if he had been startled by something striking the train. The state AG's office will either press charges or appeal the judge's order via Superior Court.

The city quickly referred the prosecution to the state attorney general Thursday to avoid a potential conflict of interest.

Sprague, speaking at a Thursday evening news conference, said it "was a shock" that the DA's office had refused to pursue criminal charges against Bostian.

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After he "lost situational awareness as to where his train was located in relation to the curve", the NTSB said, Mr Bostian actually accelerated the train to past 100mph - "consistent with a belief that his train had already passed the curve into an area of relatively straight track".

"The best we could come up with was that he was distracted from this radio conversation about the damaged train and forgot where he was", NTSB chairman Christopher Hart said at a May 2016 hearing.

"The victims of the 188 crash can now believe that justice is back", Mongeluzzi said.

A judge says Bostian lives in MA.

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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