2015 Amtrak Derailment: Engineer Brandon Bostian found not guilty in deadly Philadelphia train derailment

PHILADELPHIA – An Amtrak engineer has been acquitted of charges related to a deadly high-speed derailment that left eight people dead and hundreds injured in Philadelphia in 2015.

The court acquitted 38-year-old engineer Brandon Bostian of causing disaster, involuntary manslaughter and reckless danger after just over an hour of deliberation.

Eight people were killed and more than 200 injured when the train rolled a curve twice as fast as the limit and derailed in northern Philadelphia. Amtrak has agreed to pay $ 265 million in civil settlements to victims and their families.

Bostian’s lawyer described him as a lifelong train enthusiast with a perfect work history until he was pulled over by people throwing stones at the area shortly before the accident. Prosecutors say he acted with reckless indifference to the safety of his passengers, who were traveling from Washington to New York that Tuesday night. The train had stopped at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia about 10 minutes earlier and was heading north.

Federal safety investigators have concluded that Bostian lost what he calls “state awareness” on the track, thinking he had crossed an S-curve and a straight line when accelerating from about 65 mph to 106 mph. In fact, it was in the middle of the S curve and exceeded twice the speed limit. Investigators found no evidence that he was having problems or using his cell phone at the time.

Amtrak settled the civil lawsuit against the victims and their families in 2016 for $ 265 million, a new, higher limit set by Congress after the crash.

The criminal case had a more unusual history.

The Philadelphia Attorney General refused to prosecute following the publication of the National Transportation and Security Council’s findings. The state Attorney General’s Office later took the case to trial after the families of some of the victims pressed for charges.

The office of Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Sapiro issued the following statement after reading the verdict:

“There is no doubt that the excessive speed of the train used by the accused resulted in the death and injury of his passengers. Our goal throughout this long legal process was to seek justice for each victim and to help bring the families of the victims.” “In the end, the jury did not consider his actions to be criminal and we respect the jury’s verdict.”

SEE ALSO: $ 265 million settlement ordered in Amtrak fatal accident in Philadelphia

The jury had started weighing the charges on Friday morning, when the judge announced around noon that a deputy would intervene. The jury then started its discussions from the beginning.

The jury had to decide whether Bostian was deliberately speeding up, knowing the dangers – the threshold required for criminal negligence.

Joint Appeals Judge Barbara McDermott said the jury whose sister died Thursday night came to court on Friday and began deliberations before seeking relief.

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2015 Amtrak Derailment: Engineer Brandon Bostian found not guilty in deadly Philadelphia train derailment Source link 2015 Amtrak Derailment: Engineer Brandon Bostian found not guilty in deadly Philadelphia train derailment

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