"My office filed criminal charges against Brandon Bostian, the engineer of the Amtrak 188 train involved in the deadly crash in Philadelphia on May 12, 2015", Shapiro said on Friday. Judge Marsha Neifield of Philadelphia Municipal Court issued an order saying Bostian could be charged with involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment.
The Philadelphia judge's ruling comes just two days after prosecutors said they didn't have enough evidence to prove Bostian acted with "conscious disregard". Kline and attorney Robert Mongeluzzi, who helped negotiate the settlement, announced the judge's order late Thursday.
To avoid a conflict of interest, prosecutors referred the case against Bostian to Shapiro's office. A two-year investigation by the DA's office found that Bostian's speeding caused the train to derail, killing eight people and injuring more than 200 others.
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.
A federal judge signed off on Amtrak's $295 million settlement with the crash victims a year ago.
Neither the attorneys nor the DA's office returned calls requesting comment. Bostian also filed suit against Amtrak in January accusing the railroad of not providing him a safe working environment.
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Court records list addresses for Bostian in New York City and in Somerville, Mass., near Boston. Bostian has said he had no recollection of the incident; he did not have drugs or alcohol in his system, nor was he using a cellphone at the time of the derailment.
Federal investigators concluded Bostian lost track of his location before the 2015 crash after learning a nearby commuter train had been struck with a rock.
Epstein said private criminal complaints are often used in low-level crimes not witnessed by police or, sometimes, when charges are not filed for political reasons.
Amtrak Train 188 derailed in the early evening of May 12, 2015, from a northbound track in the Port Richmond section.
Of the 238 passengers, eight were killed - Laura Finamore, James Gaines, Abid Gilani, Robert Gildersleeve, Derrick Griffith, Rachel Jacobs, Giuseppe Piras and Justin Zemser. The NTSB has said had that equipment been installed the accident would not have happened. The federal organization focused on a radio conversation between Bostian, a dispatcher and a SEPTA Regional Rail engineer who claimed rocks were being thrown at his vehicle around Frankford Junction, where Bostian's train was traveling. "Here is a woman who died and nobody's being punished", the father, John Jacobs, told The Associated Press this week.