Pennsylvania’s top prosecutor on Friday filed criminal charges against the Amtrak engineer involved in a deadly 2015 derailment.
The announcement comes less than 24 hours after a Philadelphia judge, overruling local prosecutors, ordered engineer Brandon Bostian be held responsible for the wreck that killed eight and injured close to 200.
A day earlier, Municipal Court Judge Marsha Neifield ruled that the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office was wrong when it announced it would not charge Bostian.
Philadelphia prosecutors announced earlier in the week that they couldn’t prove Bostian acted with “conscious disregard” when he accelerated the train to 106 mph on a curved stretch of track where the speed limit was 50 mph.
“We cannot 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.
I totally agree with the judge's decision, and I'm as baffled by the local DA's decision as any of the aggrieved victims must have been, but I wonder how you can convince a jury that the driver is guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt" when his defense lawyers can produce the District Attorney's own conclusion that there was enough doubt of criminal culpability as to preclude an indictment?
It will be interesting to see how this concludes.