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Prosecutors still pursuing charges against driver in Philly Amtrak crash
October 10, 2017 / 9:13 PM / 8 days ago

Prosecutors still pursuing charges against driver in Philly Amtrak crash

FILE PHOTO: Emergency workers look through the remains of a derailed Amtrak train in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania May 13, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

(Reuters) - Pennsylvania’s attorney general is still pursuing criminal charges against the driver of a deadly Amtrak train derailment in Philadelphia in 2015, appealing a judge’s decision last month to throw out the charges.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s office said on Tuesday he had filed a notice of appeal, extending what has been a convoluted legal path following the derailment that killed eight and injured more than 200.

A Philadelphia judge, Thomas Gehret, last month threw out charges including involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment against Brandon Bostian after concluding that the evidence suggested the crash was an accident, not the result of a criminal act.

Bostian’s lawyer, Brian McMonagle, said the attorney general’s appeal had no basis.

“The district attorney’s office investigated this case for two years and found that no crime was committed. A judge listened to the evidence and found that no crime was committed. Enough is enough,” McMonagle said.

The train was traveling from Washington to New York when it flew off the rails at more than 100 miles per hour, double the posted speed limit, while going around a curve in Philadelphia.

A National Transportation Safety Board investigation concluded that Bostian, who tested negative for any alcohol or drugs, likely became distracted by radio chatter that a nearby train had been hit by a thrown rock.

In May, the Philadelphia district attorney’s office decided against prosecuting Bostian due to a lack of evidence. The attorney general’s office stepped in after a municipal judge ordered that the case go forward in response to a legal filing by one victim’s family.

Reporting by Joseph Ax in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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