Amtrak engineer dropped from all charges of fatal meeting in Philadelphia in 2015 | Rail transport
Amtrak engineer on Friday dropped charges of death from high-speed rails, killing eight and injuring hundreds in Philadelphia in 2015.
After just over an hour of deliberation, a jury acquitted 38-year-old Brendan Bostian of causing the crash, manslaughter and reckless danger.
Eight people were killed and more than 200 were injured when the train veered off the curve at more than twice the speed limit and derailed in northern Philadelphia. Amtrak has agreed to pay victims and their families $ 265 million in civil agreements.
Bostian’s lawyer described him as a lifelong train lover who had a perfect job until he was distracted by people throwing rocks in the area just before the crash.
Prosecutors said he acted with reckless disregard for the safety of his passengers traveling from Washington to New York that Tuesday night. The train stopped at 30th Street Philadelphia Station about 10 minutes earlier and headed north.
Federal security investigators concluded that Bostian lost what they call “situational awareness” on the track, thinking he passed the S-curve and went straight when accelerating from about 65 miles per hour to 106 miles per hour. In fact it was in the middle of an S-turn and was moving more than twice the speed limit. Investigators found no evidence that he was incompetent or used a cell phone at the time.
Amtrak settled a civil lawsuit with the victims and their families in 2016 for $ 265 million, a new, higher limit set by Congress after the disaster.
The criminal case had a more unusual history. The Philadelphia Attorney General dropped the criminal charge after the National Transportation Safety Board released its findings. The attorney general took the case to court after the families of some of the victims filed charges.
The jury began weighing the charges Friday when around noon a judge announced another would enter.
The jury had to decide whether Bostian had deliberately accelerated, knowing the risks, the threshold required for criminal negligence.
General Judge Barbara McDermott said a juror whose sister died Thursday night came to court on Friday and began work before asking to be released.