Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Friday that his office has charged Brandon Bostian, the engineer of an Amtrak train that went off the tracks in Philadelphia two years ago, killing eight people and injuring approximately 200 others.
Pennsylvania's attorney general appeared to disagree with the previous conclusion, and filed eight counts of involuntary manslaughter, one count of causing or risking a catastrophe, and multiple counts of reckless endangerment Friday.
"We can not conclude that the evidence rises to the high level necessary to charge the engineer or anyone else with a criminal offense", the District Attorney's Office said Tuesday in an unsigned statement. Philadelphia lawyers Thomas Kline and Robert Mongeluzzi, who helped negotiate the settlement, announced the judge's order late Thursday.
"I firmly believe that the overwhelming evidence of Brandon Bostian operating a train at 106 miles per hour in a 50 miles per hour zone, around a curve, consciously accelerating and then consciously decelerating, while having responsibility for the safety of 248 people meets the standard of reckless endangerment".
The city has since referred the prosecution to the state attorney general, in order to avoid any conflict of interest.
Criminal charges were filed Friday against a United States passenger train driver for the 2015 derailment in Philadelphia that killed eight people and injured more than 200.
Amtrak has accepted responsibility for the crash and agreed to pay $265 million to settle related claims. His lawyer has rarely commented and did not return a message Tuesday left by The Associated Press.
Philadelphia prosecutors had earlier declined to charge Bostian, citing insufficient evidence. Kline represents the family of the NY victim, Rachel Jacobs, a 39-year-old technology executive, wife and mother.
Bostian has a personal-injury lawsuit pending against Amtrak.
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. He told investigators for the National Transportation Safety Board that he had no memory of the moments leading up to the crash and could not explain what happened.
Bostian, who has maintained an extremely low profile since the crash and reportedly lives in NY, has not yet been charged.
"One thing he has never recollected is how or why he accelerated before the curve", said lawyer Robert Mongeluzzi, who with Kline represents about three dozen victims.
In this case the family of crash victim Rachel Jacobs made the request though their attorney, Richard A. Sprague.
The second-degree felony charge that Brandon Bostian faces carries a punishment of up to 10 years in prison.
The NTSB investigation found that Bostian was distracted by radio conversations about other trains being hit with projectiles.