AG Josh Shapiro issues multiple charges against engineer in 2015 Amtrak crash

AG Josh Shapiro issues multiple charges against engineer in 2015 Amtrak crash

In addition to eight counts of involuntary manslaughter, former Amtrak engineer Brandon Bostian was charged with one count of causing or risking a catastrophe and numerous counts of reckless endangerment, according to Shapiro's statement.

The state's top prosecutor on Friday charged a speeding Amtrak engineer with causing a catastrophe, involuntary manslaughter and other crimes in a deadly 2015 derailment that came after he accelerated to 106 miles per hour on a 50 miles per hour curve.

To avoid a conflict of interest, the District Attorney's Office responded that it would refer the prosecution to the state attorney general.

Criminal charges have been filed against the engineer of the Amtrak train in the deadly crash in Philadelphia in May of 2015.

On Thursday afternoon, attorneys Richard A. Sprague, Thomas R. Kline and Robert J. Mongeluzzi, who represent many victims of this incident, held a news conference at their Center City office, where they applauded Judge Neifield's decision. Attorney General Josh Shapiro's office said it's reviewing the matter.

Attorney Thomas Kline, who had sought the private complaint on the Jacobs family's behalf, said the charges wouldn't have happened "had a courageous family, the Jacobs family, not stood up against the decision of a local prosecutor not to press charges". On Tuesday, the District Attorney's Office said there was insufficient evidence to bring charges.

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

The NTSB investigation found that Bostian was distracted by radio conversations about other trains being hit with projectiles. Bostian also filed suit against Amtrak in January accusing the railroad of not providing him a safe working environment.

As NPR's Merrit Kennedy reported in October, a federal judge approved a $265 million settlement between Amtrak and people affected by the crash. A Naval Academy midshipman and a man from Howard County were among the dead. 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 vehicle around Frankford Junction, where Bostian's train was traveling.

This portion of track was not equipped with positive train control or even a less technologically-advanced piece of equipment that could have prevented the train from traveling at such a speed. Amtrak later said the system was installed on the tracks, but not activated. The crash was two years ago today.

The family of Rachel Jacobs then filed a private criminal complaint in Philadelphia Municipal court. "Here is a woman who died and nobody's being punished", the father, John Jacobs, told The Associated Press this week.

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