Engineer in Fatal Amtrak 188 Wreck Found Not Guilty

A jury in Philadelphia was asked to decide this week if Brandon Bostian was criminally responsible for a wreck that killed eight passengers in 2015. Photo Courtesy of the NTSB.

Engineer in Fatal Amtrak 188 Wreck Found Not Guilty

By Justin Franz

PHILADELPHIA — A 38-year-old former Amtrak engineer was found not guilty on all charges in a jury trial that set out to determine if the man was criminally responsible for a 2015 wreck that killed eight and injured scores more. 

NPR News reports that the jury deliberated for just 90 minutes before clearing Brandon Bostian of all charges on Friday. 

A National Transportation Safety Board investigation found that Bostian had lost “situational awareness” while running Amtrak 188 on the evening of May 12, 2015, possibly due to the fact that he was monitoring the radio following reports of rocks being thrown at other trains in the area. Not long after those initial reports, Amtrak 188 entered a 50 mile per hour curve at 106 miles per hour, resulting in the derailment. 

Since 2015, Bostian has been in and out of the criminal justice system after a number of state and local prosecutors have made different decisions about whether or not to charge the engineer with a crime. Last month, one of those cases finally made it to a jury. Bostian had been charged with eight counts of involuntary manslaughter and hundreds of counts of reckless endangerment. 

This article was posted on: March 4, 2022