Scholar: Choices ahead after order to arrest Amtrak engineer

Attorneys Thomas Kline left Richard Sprague and Robert Mongeluzzi take part in a news conference while standing next to

Attorneys Thomas Kline left Richard Sprague and Robert Mongeluzzi take part in a news conference while standing next to

Philadelphia Municipal Court Judge Marsha Neifield ordered Philadelphia District Attorney Josh Shapiro to charge engineer Brandon Bostian with involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment on Thursday.

Pennsylvania's top prosecutor has charged a speeding Amtrak engineer with causing a catastrophe, eight counts of involuntary manslaughter and other crimes in a 2015 derailment that came after he accelerated to 106 miles per hour in a 50 miles per hour zone.

In regard to potential reckless endangerment charges, the office said it did not find "evidence sufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the engineer "consciously" disregarded the risk", as is required by Pennsylvania law. Citing a conflict, the DA referred the case and charging decision to the Attorney General.

"The action by the Attorney General's Office, which includes eight counts of involuntary manslaughter, is the correct course, and it is in the best interest of the public to hold Mr. Brandon Bostian accountable", said Thomas R. Kline, one of several lawyers who pressed Neifield to authorize charges against Bostian.

The Bartlett native blamed for crashing an Amtrak that killed eight people and injured hundreds more will now face charges.

The 2016 National Transportation Safety Board investigation into the derailment concluded that prior to the crash Bostian was distracted by radio conversations between other trains and dispatchers about other trains being hit with projectiles.

A federal judge signed off on Amtrak's $295 million settlement with the crash victims past year.

Bostian's lawyer has not returned messages this week about the case.

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"We can not conclude that the evidence rises to the high level necessary to charge the engineer or anyone else with a criminal offense", read the DA's statement.

Court records list addresses for Bostian in New York City and in Somerville, Mass., near Boston.

Bostian has a personal injury suit pending against Amtrak, saying he was left disoriented or unconscious when something struck his train before it derailed.

"President Judge Neifield has ordered the filing of two private criminal complaints as a result of the Amtrak train 188 derailment".

Jacobs, a technology executive, was a 39-year-old wife and mother.

"The private complaint mechanism exists for cases where the police can't make an arrest and, arguably, for cases where they won't but they should", said Jules Epstein, a Temple University law professor.

"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. Prosecutors said they have been in talks with his attorney to have him surrender. Bostian was an experienced engineer.

The NTSB said it found no evidence that Bostian was impaired or using a cellphone during the Washington-to-New York run.

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