Scholar: Options remain after order to charge train engineer

Robyn Ryan
May 13, 2017

The family of a NY woman who was killed sought the criminal complaint after city prosecutors declined to press charges. Attorney General Josh Shapiro also could try to negotiate a plea or take as much time as he needs to evaluate the case, he said.

Kline said the attorney general on Friday "correctly and appropriately charged Brandon Bostian for his reckless disregard of the passengers in whose safety he was entrusted".

Earlier this week, the DA's office announced that it wouldn't press charges against Bostian - or anyone involved in the fatal crash - after finding "no evidence that the engineer acted with criminal "intent" or criminal 'knowledge, '" in the incident.

Criminal charges were filed Friday against a U.S. passenger train driver for the 2015 derailment in Philadelphia that killed eight people and injured more than 200. Jacobs, a technology executive, was a wife and mother.

Bostian, who has maintained an extremely low profile since the crash and reportedly lives in NY, has not yet been charged.

Bostian did not return calls for comment.

As NPR's Merrit Kennedy reported in October, a federal judge approved a $265 million settlement between Amtrak and people affected by the crash.

"The district attorney's office has refused, steadfastly, until this order, to even prosecute this man", says Attorney Thomas R. Kline, who is representing the families of those killed.

Bostian has a personal injury lawsuit pending against Amtrak. In the week after the crash, investigators with the NTSB said the train was traveling at more than 100 m.p.h. when it derailed. However, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded that nothing struck his locomotive.

Attorneys for victims then brought a private citizen criminal complaint against Bostian, a rare but not unprecedented legal action.

Attorneys Thomas Kline, left, Richard Sprague and Robert Mongeluzzi take part in a news conference while standing next to a photo of train engineer Brandon Bostian in Philadelphia on Thursday.

The state's attorney general has a wide range of options in responding to a judge's order to arrest a speeding Amtrak engineer involved in the deadly 2015 crash, a law professor said Friday, May 12, 2017.

Amtrak 188 was traveling 106 miles per hour when it jumped the northbound tracks negotiating a large curve at Frankford Junction on May 12, 2015.

Two trains operating on the same route were struck by flying rocks that night - the SEPTA regional rail train and an Amtrak Acela heading for Philadelphia's 30th Street Station. Philadelphia prosecutors said on Tuesday that Bostian wouldn't be charged in the 2015 derailment.

Other reports by VideoGamingPros

Discuss This Article