Engineer in deadly Philadelphia Amtrak crash charged with causing catastrophe, involuntary manslaughter

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The crash happened in Philadelphia on May 12, 2015.

From left to right: Justin Zemser, Jim Gaines, Rachel Jacobs, Abid Gilani and Derrick Griffith were among the eight people killed in the Amtrak 188 derailment.

NTSB IIC Mike Flanigon and members of the investigative team on the scene of the Amtrak Train 188 Derailment in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 13, 2015.

A Philadelphia judge has ordered two private criminal complaints be filed in the deadly Amtrak train derailment there, a day after prosecutors decided not to charge the operator.

Each misdemeanor charges carries a maximum five-year sentence.

The judge ruled that charges of involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment can be brought against Bostian, both as misdemeanors.

A law professor says Pennsylvania's attorney general has several choices in handling a judge's order to charge the speeding Amtrak engineer involved in a deadly crash.

Bostian's lawyer has not returned messages this week about the case.

Earlier this week the Philadelphia district attorney said while it was clear the derailment was caused by speeding, there was not enough clear evidence to file criminal charges. A Philadelphia judge ordered prosecutors to file criminal charges against the engineer.

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Bostian faces eight counts of involuntary manslaughter, one count of causing or risking a catastrophe, "and numerous counts of reckless endangerment", Shapiro said in a brief statement. Prosecutors, in response, said they had insufficient evidence of criminal intent or recklessness.

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

Investigators found no evidence that Bostian had been on his phone at the time of the crash, or that a bullet had been fired as first reported.

The train had left Philadelphia minutes before, heading toward NY.

"The best we could come up with was that he was distracted from this radio conversation about the damaged train and forgot where he was", NTSB chairman Christopher Hart said at a May 2016 hearing.

When NTSB investigators interviewed him, the discussion of trains being hit by a projectile was one of the few details the engineer remembered clearly.

Amtrak 188, originating in Washington, D.C., was bound for NY.

At the time the train derailed in Philadelphia, according to the findings of the National Transportation Safety Board, it was going 106 miles per hour on a curve with a posted speed limit of 50 miles per hour. A Naval Academy midshipman and a man from Howard County were among the dead.

The section of track where the train derailed was not equipped with safety equipment called automatic train control.

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