June 7, 2017 / 10:04 AM / 2 years ago

Court delay for Amtrak engineer in deadly 2015 Philadelphia crash

FILE PHOTO -- Officials work at the site of a derailed Amtrak train in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania May 13, 2015. `REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - A preliminary hearing for the former Amtrak engineer charged with involuntary manslaughter in a 2015 crash that killed eight passengers and injured 200 others in Philadelphia was postponed on Wednesday due to a lawyers’ scheduling conflict.

A judge ruled that the hearing for Brandon Bostian will be rescheduled for September 12th at the request of defense attorney Fortunato Perri.

Perri asked for the delay because his law partner, Brian McMonigle, was busy with a high-profile sexual assault case against comedian Bill Cosby that is taking place in a Philadelphia suburb.

Local prosecutors had originally declined to bring charges against Bostian, saying last month that they did not have enough evidence to charge him with criminal intent and closing the case.

But a Philadelphia municipal court judge ordered that he face eight counts of involuntary manslaughter, one count of causing or risking a catastrophe and numerous counts of reckless endangerment.

The Amtrak train was traveling through Philadelphia on May 12, 2015 with 243 people on board when it took a curve at more than twice the recommended 50 miles-per-hour (80 kph) speed limit and derailed, mangling one car and knocking two others on their sides.

Bostian later told investigators he had no memory of the moments before the accident. In October, a federal judge approved a record $265 million settlement for the victims.

Writing by Gina Cherelus in New York; Editing by Frances Kerry and Nick Zieminski

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