Feb. 7 (UPI) — A Philadelphia judge has decided to reinstate criminal charges against an Amtrak engineer stemming from a crash that killed eight people three years ago.
The judge’s decision against Brandon Bostian revived 246 counts of reckless endangerment, eight counts of involuntary manslaughter and one count of risking a catastrophe.
Judge Kathryn Lewis’ decision reverses a ruling in September, when a lower court dismissed all counts against Bostian for lack of evidence. Lewis disagreed, saying there is enough evidence, even if it’s circumstantial.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro had filed an appeal in October to charge Bostian.
“We’re pleased with the court’s ruling today,” Shapiro said. “This is an important step in the legal process of this case. We will seek justice for every victim of the Amtrak train crash.”
A National Transportation Safety Board investigation concluded that although Bostian exceeded the speed limit on the track, there was no evidence that he acted with criminal intent or knowledge.
The NTSB found that when the train crashed, it was traveling 160 miles per hour around a sharp curve that has a posted speed limit of 50 miles per hour.
Federal investigators said they found no evidence Bostian used alcohol, drugs or a cellphone while operating the train, but concluded he had been distracted by radio conversations between other trains and dispatchers.
Bostian said he was concerned about a radio report that rocks were being thrown at a commuter trains, and had forced one to stop.