Judge finds probable cause to charge Amtrak engineer in derailment

Judge finds probable cause to charge Amtrak engineer in derailment

Shapiro approved a felony charge of risking or causing a catastrophe and a string of misdemeanors, including eight counts of involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment.

The DA's office said it was referring the prosecution to the state's attorney general to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest. 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.

The misdemeanor charges each carry a maximum five-year sentence.

Should the attorney general's office agree to charge Bostian, it would trigger a warrant for his arrest.

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A day earlier, Municipal Court Judge Marsha Neifield ruled that the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office was wrong when it announced it would not charge Bostian.

On Wednesday, the family of 39-year-old Rachel Jacobs, who was killed in the crash, filled out a private citizen criminal complaint, which the DA's office again declined.

The National Transportation Board determined that the derailment was caused by human error and that Bostian was distracted and had lost situational awareness. The ride from the train station in Philadelphia to the site of the derailment was 11 minutes.

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

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The pound also fell 0.7 percent to 84.87 pence per euro after the single currency saw broad buying following some weak USA data. It said growth had fallen "markedly" in the first quarter and added a "slowdown appeared to be in train".

When NTSB investigators interviewed him, the discussion of trains being hit by a projectile was one of the few details the engineer remembered clearly.

"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.

In his first interview with investigators the week the crash occurred, Bostian told the NTSB he had little memory of the night of the crash when investigators said the train, bound for NY, sped around a curve at the Frankford Junction, and then derailed.

The charges come three days after the city district attorney's office said no charges would be filed since it couldn't prove Bostian acted with "conscious disregard" when he accelerated the train above 100 miles per hour on a 50 miles per hour curve. The automated system notifies an engineer if the train is speeding and applies the brakes automatically if the engineer does not respond.

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This portion of track was not equipped with positive train control or even a less technologically-advanced piece of equipment that could have prevented the train from traveling at such a speed. The NTSB has said had that equipment been installed the accident would not have happened.

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