By Alex Lloyd Gross
Brandon Bostian, the conductor who was responsible for the Amtrak crash in May 2015 that killed eight people and injured over 200 more was charged by the office of the Attorney General today, May 18, 2017, when it became clear that the Philadelphia District Attorney would not be pursuing any criminal charges. Bostian is charged with eight counts of involuntary homicide, reckless endangerment and related charges, stemming from the May 2015 crash in Frankford.
The charges were announced just before the statute of limitations was set to expire. As Bostian surrendered himself, a scrum of media was waiting for him and in a public display, cops handcuffed him and walked him into the 9th Police District. This was done purely for the cameras. No one is saying that the embattled conductor intended to hurt or kill anyone. However, he was very familiar with the area, having traveled it countless times before.
The area where the crash took place was on a sharp curve ( which is pictured above.) A mandatory reduction of speed is required to negotiate the area safely. The train came through the curve at over 100 MPH. defense lawyers will try to argue that Bostian was distracted by a report of a rock being thrown at the train. Prosecutors allege he lost situational awareness and that is the basis for their charge.
Several lawsuits have been filed in conjunction with the crash.