February 06, 2018

Charges reinstated against Amtrak engineer in fatal 2015 derailment

Amtrak Courts
05142015_brandon_Bostian2_LinkedIn Source/Brandon Bostian/LinkedIn

Brandon Bostian, who was operating the Amtrak train that derailed in Philadelphia on May 12, 2015, will not be charged by the city district attorney.

This May will mark three years since an Amtrak train traveling between New York and Washington derailed in Philadelphia, killing eight passengers and injuring 200 other people.

Last year, charges against Amtrak engineer Brandon Bostian, 34, were thrown out, a judge ruling that the derailment was an accident and not caused by Bostian’s own negligence.

On Tuesday, Pennsylvania prosecutors appealed and Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Kathryn S. Lewis reinstated charges against Bostian for involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and causing a catastrophe, saying the case presented enough evidence for further trial.

Bostian has been on unpaid administrative leave from Amtrak since the time of the crash and is currently free on bail. He must surrender his passport.

The May 12, 2015 accident occurred when Amtrak 188 rounded a curve at Frankford Junction in Port Richmond at more than twice the posted 50 mph speed limit. The entire train went off the tracks and three cars toppled onto their sides.

The announcement comes just shortly after another fatal accident occurred over the weekend with a train traveling from New York and Miami. Though the crash occurred in South Carolina, the train held at least one passenger from Philadelphia who boarded at 30th Street Station. The accident resulted in two deaths and more than 100 injured passengers.