Speeding Amtrak engineer charged in 2015 crash that killed 8

The chain of events leading to Shapiro's announcement, contained in a short statement, began Thursday, when Municipal Court President Judge Marsha Neifield effectively overturned a decision by the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office not to prosecute Brandon Bostian. The family submitted an affidavit stating that Bostian was going more than twice the speed limit.

"We have no evidence that the engineer acted with criminal "intent" or criminal "knowledge" within the special meaning of those terms under Pennsylvania law for purposes of criminal charges", the office said in a release Tuesday. When the direct result of reckless or negligent behavior, involuntary manslaughter is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by two-and-a-half to five years in prison per charge.

Attorney Richard Sprague, representing the family of one crash fatality, responded to the news by asking the DA to file charges based on a citizen's complaint.

"All Pennsylvanians should be grateful that there is an Attorney General willing to do what is right and just to hold Engineer Bostian accountable for his reckless conduct", said Mr. Kline. Federal investigators determined that Bostian allowed the train to speed up to 106 miles per hour in a curve suitable for only half of that speed.

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

The National Transportation Board determined that the derailment was caused by human error and that Bostian was distracted and had lost situational awareness.

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Amtrak declined to comment and calls to Bostian were not returned. The office sent the matter to Neifield who decided there is probable cause to file charges against Bostian. His client now lives near Boston, according to Neifield's order. Kline represents the family of the NY victim, Rachel Jacobs, a technology executive, wife and mother.

In particular, prosecutors said, there is not enough evidence to prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that when Bostian sped into the Frankford Junction curve, he was consciously ignoring the risk of the action. However, federal safety investigators concluded that nothing struck the train prior to it crashing.

Criminal charges were filed Friday against a USA passenger train driver for the 2015 derailment in Philadelphia that killed eight people and injured more than 200.

"The private complaint mechanism exists for cases where the police can't make an arrest and, arguably, for cases where they won't but they should", said Jules Epstein, a Temple University law professor.

The NTSB said it found no evidence that Bostian was impaired or using a cellphone during the Washington-to-New York run.

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

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