Judge orders Bartlett engineer blamed for fatal train crash to face charges

13 May, 2017, 10:24 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • Judge orders Bartlett engineer blamed for fatal train crash to face charges

Municipal Court Judge Marsha Neifield asked Thursday that prosecutors charge Bostian with involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment after the family of one of the victims in the deadly wreck filed a private citizen complaint against Bostian.

Following the judge's ruling, the city has referred the prosecution of the engineer to the state attorney general in an effort to avoid any conflict of interest.

"I commend our outstanding team in the office of the Attorney General, (which) worked diligently and thoughtfully around the clock to enable us to be in this position to pursue justice on behalf of the victims of this deadly crash", Shapiro said.

During their investigation, National Transportation Safety Board members concluded that Bostian completely lost track of his location before the 2015 crash - after hearing about a nearby commuter train being struck with a rock over the radio. On Tuesday, the District Attorney's Office said there was insufficient evidence to bring charges. Involuntary manslaughter carries a maximum possible punishment of five years in prison.

Lawyers for the family of a NY woman killed in the crash obtained a private criminal complaint from a city judge after Philadelphia prosecutors this week announced they would not pursue charges.

Shapiro expanded on charges a Philadelphia judge approved one day earlier.

When the train approached a curve at the Frankford Junction the speed limit dropped to 50 miles per hour - but instead of decelerating, "Bostian accelerated the train's movement to a speed of 106 miles per hour". A judge says Bostian lives in MA.

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Prosecutors said Friday they have been in talks with engineer Brandon Bastian's attorney to have him surrender and be arraigned on the charges.

The news came after local prosecutors shockingly cleared Brandon Bostian, 33, of criminal wrongdoing earlier in the week.

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

The district attorney's office said evidence indicated the derailment was caused by the engineer operating the train far in excess of the speed limit, but it found no evidence that he acted with criminal intent.

"This is the second anniversary of a horrific event", Mongeluzzi said.

Of the 238 passengers, eight were killed - Laura Finamore, James Gaines, Abid Gilani, Robert Gildersleeve, Derrick Griffith, Rachel Jacobs, Giuseppe Piras and Justin Zemser.

Since the derailment, Amtrak has installed automatic-braking technology known as positive train control, which was not installed at the time of the incident.

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