DA: No Criminal Charges Will Be Filed in Fatal Amtrak Derailment

Fotolia 5492881 Subscription Monthly M 1024x781 - DA: No Criminal Charges Will Be Filed in Fatal Amtrak Derailment

An Amtrak derailment in 2015 that caused the deaths of eight people and injured 200 others was determined to be caused by an engineer who was operating the train at excessive speed, but the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office announced this week that no criminal charges will be filed in connection to the crash.

A lengthy investigation into the crash reportedly revealed that the engineer became distracted just moments before the fatal crash which resulted in “situational awareness,” an article by Philadelphia Patch reports. Following the investigation, authorities decided not to press criminal charges.

Read more: Criminal Defense Lawyers, Philadelphia, PA

“We cannot 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 in a statement that was released in the article. “We have no evidence that the engineer acted with criminal ‘intent; or criminal ‘knowledge’ within the special meaning of those terms under Pennsylvania law for purposes of criminal charges. Nor do we believe there is sufficient evidence to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, criminal recklessness, which would be the only other basis for criminal liability.”

The engineer who was driving the train on May 12, 2015 when it derailed, Brandon Bostian, reportedly was distracted when he heard through radio communications that another SEPTA train that was nearby had been struck by debris.

“During the course of their investigation, District Attorney’s Office sent two ADA’s to ride in the cab of the train along the route of the crash, listened to audio tapes from the scene, and interviewed experts in train operation,” the article reads.

Bostian reportedly thought the train was on a different part of the track when he sped up to full throttle, according to investigators on the case. Bostian increased to 106 mph from about 65 mph within less than a minute.

Investigators also believe Bostian could have been confused due to how dark it was.

“Authorities ruled out other factors that could have made him negligent: his toxicology report came back clean, and he was not using his cell phone in the moments leading up to the crash. Because of this, the DA’s office said there is no proof he ‘consciously disregarded’ any protocol,” Patch reports.

Officials estimated that the crash caused more than $9 million in damage.

HOW WE CAN HELP

DUI DEFENSE

icon car - Criminal Defense
DUI INFORMATION CENTER

Learn what to do if you have been stopped for DUI/DWI.

icon car - Criminal Defense
ARD IN PENNSYLVANIA

If this is your first DUI offense, you may be eligible for ARD.

RESULTS

NO JAIL TIME

Commonwealth v. "H" (DUI case)

Client was charged with three separate DUI cases calling for mandatory minimum imprisonment of 90 days on each case. Client was advised to seek immediate intensive alcohol counseling. Client was sentenced to 1 year of house arrest after serving 3 days in the county prison.

CASE DISMISSED

Commonwealth v. "C" (Felony drug/Firearms case)

Client was charged with felony Delivery of drugs and illegal gun possession and was facing a mandatory 3-6 year prison sentence in the State prison system. Client was sentenced to one year of house arrest.

CASE DISMISSED

Commonwealth v. "S"

Client was charged with simple assault, domestic. After a hearing where evidence and testimony was presented, the entire case was dismissed by Judge Leonard Brown.

CASE DISMISSED

State of New Jersey v. "H"

Charges for young man charged with second degree aggravated assault were downgraded to third degree and he was accepted into the County Pretrial Intervention program with charges to be dismissed and record expunged after one year of misconduct free behavior.

OUR CRIMINAL DEFENSE TEAM INCLUDES TWO FORMER DISTRICT ATTORNEYS

We have decades of experience dealing with local police departments, prosecutors, and judges throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Anyone facing charges involving a criminal offense can expect to experience a heightened degree of emotional turmoil, for themselves, as well as their family members. Our team of highly qualified criminal law attorneys and expert legal support staff are committed to providing each of our client’s with the compassion and understanding they deserve, as well as an aggressive plan for representation at an affordable price.

As former prosecutors, we have a balanced and in-depth understanding of the criminal justice system and how the prosecution prepares cases. In addition, we have long-standing experience dealing with local police departments, prosecutors and judges throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

At Young, Marr and Associates, when we say “experience matters,” we mean it. Our lawyers, which include two former prosecutors and a former senior deputy district attorney bring more than three decades of criminal law experience, handling more than 10,000 criminal cases. It is precisely that experience that allows us to achieve outstanding results for our clients facing DUI, traffic, felony and misdemeanor charges in state, federal and juvenile courts.