Judge orders prosecutors to charge Amtrak engineer

FILE - In this May 13, 2015, file photo, emergency personnel work at the scene of a deadly train derailment in Philadelphia. An Amtrak train headed to New York City derailed and crashed in Philadelphia. The train derailed while traveling more than twice the speed limit around a curve; travel along the Northeast Corridor was disrupted for days while the tracks were replaced. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – A Philadelphia judge has ordered prosecutors to criminally charge the speeding Amtrak engineer involved in a 2015 derailment that killed eight people and injured about 200.

Municipal Court Judge Marsha Neifield Thursday ordered charges of involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment to be filed against engineer Brandon Bostian.

Her ruling comes two days after the city district attorney’s office said it couldn’t prove Bostian acted with “conscious disregard” when he accelerated the train to 106 mph on a 50 mph curve.

The city has referred the prosecution to the state attorney general to avoid any apparent conflict of interest.

The district attorney’s office says it’s reviewing the judge’s order. It could appeal.

Federal investigators concluded that Bostian lost track of his location before the May 12, 2015, crash after learning a nearby commuter train had been struck with a rock.

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