Philly Judge Throws Out Criminal Case Against Amtrak Engineer

Left: Brandon Bostian (Courtesy of Robert Mongeluzzi); Right: The aftermath of the Amtrak Train 188 derailment (AP/Mel Evans)

A Philadelphia Municipal Court judge on Tuesday formally dismissed criminal charges pending against Brandon Bostian, the 34-year-old train engineer who was driving when Amtrak Train 188 derailed on tracks in Port Richmond on May 12, 2015, AP’s Mike Sisak reports. Read more »

Judge Orders Prosecutors to Charge Driver in Amtrak Derailment

Left: Brandon Bostian (Courtesy of Robert Mongeluzzi); Right: The aftermath of the Amtrak Train 188 derailment (AP/Mel Evans)

A Philadelphia judge has ordered prosecutors to file charges against the driver in the 2015 Amtrak derailment – just days after the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office said it would not do so.

Municipal Court Judge Marsha Neifield has asked the DA’s Office to charge Brandon Bostian with involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment. 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. Read more »

DA’s Office Won’t Charge Driver in Amtrak Derailment

Left: Brandon Bostian (Courtesy of Robert Mongeluzzi); Right: The aftermath of the Amtrak Train 188 derailment (AP/Mel Evans)

The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office will not charge Brandon Bostian, the engineer who was driving Amtrak Train 188 when it derailed in 2015, killing eight people and injuring more than 200 others.

Following a nearly two-year investigation, the DA’s office said no criminal charges would be filed in the Amtrak derailment. Read more »

Deadline Nears for Endangerment Charges to Be Filed Against Amtrak Engineer

Left: Brandon Bostian (Courtesy of Robert Mongeluzzi); Right: The aftermath of the Amtrak Train 188 derailment (AP/Mel Evans)

Left: Brandon Bostian (Courtesy of Robert Mongeluzzi); Right: The aftermath of the Amtrak Train 188 derailment (AP/Mel Evans)

It’s been almost two years since Amtrak train 188 derailed, killing eight and injuring more than 200.

Just before the crash, Amtrak engineer Brandon Bostian had accelerated the vehicle to 106 mph – more than double the speed limit at the Frankford Junction curve, where the train crashed. A yearlong investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board determined that Bostian was likely distracted immediately before the derailment.

Bostian has so far faced no charges in the crash, and if the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office doesn’t file charges against him by this Friday, it’s unlikely that he’ll be held criminally accountable.  Read more »

Driver of Amtrak Train That Derailed Sues Amtrak

Left: Brandon Bostian (Courtesy of Robert Mongeluzzi); Right: The aftermath of the Amtrak Train 188 derailment (AP/Mel Evans)

Left: Brandon Bostian (Courtesy of Robert Mongeluzzi); Right: The aftermath of the Amtrak Train 188 derailment (AP/Mel Evans)

The driver of the Amtrak train that derailed in Port Richmond in 2015 has sued his former employer.

Brandon Bostian was the engineer of Amtrak 188. Eight people were killed and more than 200 were injured — including 11 critical injuries — in the crash. His lawsuit against Amtrak, filed Wednesday in Common Pleas Court, accused the railroad company of failing to provide a safe working environment.

The NTSB report on the crash laid the blame on Bostian, saying he was distracted by radio traffic about a rock that hit another train the same night and did not slow down enough as he entered a curve. Read more »

Lawyers for Amtrak Crash Victims Rip Engineer’s Statements

Robert J. Mongeluzzi (left) and Tom Kline - Amtrak 188 press conference

Robert J. Mongeluzzi (left) and Tom Kline, lawyers for victims of the derailment of Amtrak 188, speak at a press conference today. (Photo | Dan McQuade)

Lawyers for 29 victims of last year’s derailment of Amtrak 188 say Brandon Bostian‘s statements, released today by the National Transportation Safety Board, are an insult to the victims.

“He had absolutely no recollection whatsoever of the events [right after the crash],” Robert Mongeluzzi told reporters today at a press conference. “Now, after months pass after the accident he now has a sudden memory. That, for the victims, is going to be a bitter pill to swallow.”

Mongeluzzi and Tom Kline, who both represent victims in a lawsuit against Amtrak over the crash last year, gave a press conference about an hour after the NTSB released its findings. They zeroed in on Bostian’s statements; one was taken just days after the crash in May, while another was on November of last year.

“Unfortunately, the last memory I have on the way back is approaching and passing the platforms in North Philadelphia,” Bostian said in May. “I remember turning on the bell, and the next thing that I remember is when I came to my senses I was standing up in the locomotive cab after the accident.” Read more »

What We Know About the Amtrak 188 Crash, Based on the Interviews

Emergency personnel work the scene of a train wreck, Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Philadelphia. |Photo by Joseph Kaczmarek/AP

Emergency personnel work the scene of a train wreck, Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Philadelphia. |Photo by Joseph Kaczmarek/AP

“‘I don’t know if someone is shooting at us or throwing rocks, but I see it.’ After that, the horn started to go.”

That’s how assistant conductor Akida Henry first described the radio transmission she heard between Brandon Bostian, the engineer on Amtrak train 188, and the control center in Wilmington, Del., just seconds before the train derailed on a sharp curve with a posted top speed of 50 mph. Data from the locomotive event recorder at that time shows the train was traveling at 106 mph at 9:20:31 p.m., followed four seconds later by an engineer initiated emergency — that is, an application of the emergency brakes — then, three seconds after that, by the end of the recorder data. At that point, the train was doing 102 mph.

Interviews with both assistant conductor Henry and dispatcher Joseph Curran, who was responsible that night for controlling movements in the stretch of track that runs through North Philadelphia, indicate that trains running through the area of the accident were being damaged by projectiles of some sort. The interviews are part of a big information release today from the NTSB. Read more »