Charges Against Amtrak Engineer Dismissed

Criminal charges against an Amtrak engineer in connection with 2015 crash that left eight people dead have been dropped.

The charges against Brian Bostian were dismissed after Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas Judge Barbara McDermott ruled that his behavior before the derailment did not rise to the level of criminal recklessness.

It was the second time that criminal charges against Bostian have been dropped.

The derailment occurred on May 12, 2015, when Amtrak Train 188 entered a curve near Philadelphia traveling 106 mph, which was more than twice the posted speed limit.

The derailment also left 150 people injured.

In announcing her ruling, McDermott said, “The law recognizes there is the occasional case where a departure from the rule may be appropriate.”

A National Transportation Safety Board report concluded that Bostian had lost situational awareness just before the derailment.

He had faced 216 counts of reckless endangerment, one count of causing a catastrophe, and eight counts of involuntary manslaughter.

Christopher Phillips, a deputy attorney general with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, said his office plans to appeal the dismissal of the charges against Bostian.

Bostian was initially charged in May 2017, but those charged were thrown out that September by Judge Thomas Gehert.

Judge Kathryn S. Lewi later reinstated the charges after ruling that Judge Gehert had erred and there was sufficient evidence to go to trial.

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