Amtrak Engineer Charged in Crash That Killed 8
He accelerated to 106mph on 50mph curve
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 13, 2017 5:36 AM CDT
In this May 13, 2015 photo, emergency personnel work near the wreckage of a New York City-bound Amtrak passenger train following a derailment that killed eight people and injured about 200 others in Philadelphia.   (Patrick Semansky)
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(Newser) – Philadelphia's top prosecutor has 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 106mph on a 50mph curve. Prosecutors said Friday they were in talks with engineer Brandon Bostian's attorney to have him surrender on the charges. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro expanded on charges a Philadelphia judge approved a day earlier. The unusual judge's order came after the family of a woman killed in the crash sought a private criminal complaint when city prosecutors declined to press charges as Friday's two-year deadline approached, the AP reports.

The crash killed eight people and injured about 200 others. Philadelphia prosecutors concluded this week that there was insufficient evidence to prove that Bostian acted with intent or "conscious disregard" for the passengers' safety. But lawyers representing dozens of victims, said that should be an issue for a jury. The criminal case is sure to bring new scrutiny to the National Transportation Safety Board finding that Bostian had lost "situational awareness" on the curve in North Philadelphia. The NTSB said it found no evidence that Bostian was impaired or using a cellphone during the Washington-to-New York run, or evidence to support his claim something struck his train before it derailed.

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