Speeding Amtrak engineer charged in 2015 crash that killed 8

The judge had signed off on two misdemeanor charges over 39-year-old Rachel Jacobs' death in the May 12, 2015 derailment.

A Philadelphia municipal court judge ordered the charges of involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment against former Amtrak engineer Brandon Bostian to be revived on Thursday.

The engineer operating Amtrak 188 when it careened off the tracks in Northeast Philadelphia two years ago has been charged criminally in the derailment, Pennsylvania's attorney general announced Friday.

The city has referred the prosecution to the state attorney general to avoid any apparent conflict of interest.

Pennsylvania's attorney general is doing what the Philadelphia district attorney's office said it couldn't do.

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board said Bostian accelerated to full-throttle as the New York-bound train traversed a straightaway through North Philadelphia.

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.

Federal investigators said they found no evidence Bostian was under the influence of alcohol or drugs or that he had been using a cellphone at the time of the May 12, 2015, derailment of Amtrak train 188, en route from Washington to NY.

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"Bostian was an experienced engineer who was aware of the route and the fact that there were speed limits throughout the route", reads the police criminal complaint filed by Shapiro's office. The NTSB concluded he was distracted by a rock thrown at a nearby train.

That, according to lawyer Robert Mongeluzzi who also represents victims, should not give him a pass.

The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office had announced Tuesday, as the two-year deadline to bring charges loomed Friday, that it couldn't prove Bostian acted with "conscious disregard" when he accelerated the train to 106 miles per hour on a 50 miles per hour curve.

Other lawyers have called last year's NTSB report on the crash a "whitewash" and a "quantum leap".

"There is a longing for accountability when you are disabled and in excruciating pain every day", Mongeluzzi said. Bostian's lawyer hasn't returned messages seeking comment this week.

Court records list addresses for Bostian in New York City and in Somerville, Massachusetts, near Boston.

Amtrak has taken responsibility for the crash and agreed to pay $265 million to settle claims filed by victims and their families. Kline represents the family of the NY victim, Rachel Jacobs, a 39-year-old technology executive, wife and mother. The other people killed included Justin Zemser, a Naval Academy midshipman; Jim Gaines, an Associated Press software architect; and Derrick Griffith, a college dean.

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