Engineer charged in deadly Amtrak crash

The derailment also created fundamental policy changes for Amtrak.

Emergency personnel walk near the scene of a the deadly train wreck.

The engineer in a deadly 2015 Amtrak train crash in Philadelphia has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said in a statement on Friday, May 12, even though local prosecutors had cleared the engineer of criminal wrongdoing earlier in the week.

Each misdemeanor charges carries a maximum five-year sentence. It alleges he was reckless in the operation of the train.

"We've received the referral from the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office and are carefully reviewing this important matter", Joe Grace, a spokesman for the state attorney general's office, said on Friday.

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Prosecutors said they were in talks with Bostian's attorney to have him surrender on the charges.

On Tuesday, the city district attorney's office said no charges would be filed against Bostian because it could not be proven that the engineer acted with "conscious disregard" when he accelerated. The judge ordered city prosecutors to charge Bostian with two misdemeanors.

In response, attorneys filed a private complaint on behalf of the father of one of the victims.

The chain of events leading to Shapiro's announcement, contained in a short statement, began Thursday, when Municipal Court President Judge Marsha Neifield effectively overturned a decision by the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office not to prosecute Brandon Bostian.

Kline and attorney Robert Mongeluzzi represent 32 victims in ongoing litigation against Amtrak, which has declined to comment to CNN.

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The National Transportation Safety Board found that Bostian lost "situational awareness" on May 12, 2015, before he lost control of the train that flew off the tracks around a tight curve.

The train had left Philadelphia minutes before, heading toward NY. The federal organization focused on a radio conversation between Bostian, a dispatcher and a SEPTA Regional Rail engineer who claimed rocks were being thrown at his auto around Frankford Junction, where Bostian's train was traveling.

In his first interview with investigators the week the crash occurred, Bostian told the NTSB he had little memory of the night of the crash when investigators said the train, bound for NY, sped around a curve at the Frankford Junction, and then derailed. Federal investigators determined that Bostian allowed the train to speed up to 106 miles per hour in a curve suitable for only half of that speed.

Of the 238 passengers, eight were killed - Laura Finamore, James Gaines, Abid Gilani, Robert Gildersleeve, Derrick Griffith, Rachel Jacobs, Giuseppe Piras and Justin Zemser.

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